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Samsung, Apple relations to enter new chapter

Oct. 7, 2011 - 18:16 By

(Yonhap News)

Market watchers say Samsung has chance to come out top

The tumultuous relationship between Samsung and Apple may be headed for a new chapter following the recent death of co-founder Steve Jobs, who had waged a fierce patent war with the South Korean electronics bellwether.

While Samsung declined to comment on the business implications of Jobs’ death out of respect for the deceased, industry watchers were quick to note that Samsung has been granted an extraordinary opportunity to fill the void Jobs has left.

“If Samsung can come up with a mind-blowing product with the right leadership, this is the time to do it,” said Martin Lindstrom, one of the world’s leading brand consultants.

He also advised Samsung to immediately move away from “copycat” designs and start producing more innovative gadgets.

“Samsung will take more and more market share from Apple only if it throws away Galaxy Tab which I really think is a copy of Apple’s iPad,” Lindstrom said.

Other market experts also have noted Apple may have to switch gears to a more accommodating stance now as Samsung makes more headway in both software development and smart devices to transform into tougher competition.

Relations between the world’s leading IT companies -- despite being heavily interdependent for parts and related infrastructure -- started to sour in recent years over a protracted patent lawsuit -- a suit prompted by the California-based company that accused Samsung of ripping off its designs.

As early as August, some industry watchers had suggested Apple, under the helm of the new CEO Tim Cook, may assume a softer approach toward Samsung, including regarding the patent suit.

However, it is still early to predict a significant change in Apple’s policies, especially those that were personally molded by Jobs.

Samsung sources also had shown caution in predicting a sanguine future, saying they did not believe it would see any significant changes from Apple under the new leadership.

For now, the South Korean company is avidly taking measures of its own to try and get ahead of Apple in the software race; the electronics maker recently forged several alliances with companies such as Intel and Microsoft involving cross-licensing deals and an agreement to jointly develop an open-platform operating system.

The move was widely interpreted to reduce Samsung’s reliance on external software-makers and cut down unnecessary legal costs.

By Kim Ji-hyun and Cynthia J. Kim

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"잡스 없는 애플, 삼성에겐 큰 기회"
스티브 잡스의 죽음으로 애플이 당분간은 제품특수를 누릴 수 있지만 장기적으로는 삼성전자에 큰 기회가 될 수 있다고 유수의 브랜드 미래학자 마틴 린드스트롬이 6일 예고했다. 

헤럴드 디자인 포럼에 참석한 린드스트롬은 “(잡스의 죽음은) 슬픈 일이다. 하지만 그의 죽음으로 인해 업계 역사상 전후무후한 리더의 부재가 생겼다” 라고 말하며 지금 같은 시점에 삼성전자가 “엄청난” 제품을 출시한다면 삼성을 따라다니는 모방의 귀재라는 이미지를 탈바꿈할 수 있는 좋은 기회가 될 것이라 말했다.

린드스트롬은 삼성의 갤럭시 탭을 애플의 아이패드 모방품으로 간주하며 가능하면 빠른시일내에 삼성을 포함한 한국기업들이 오리지널 디자인을 만들어야한다고 주문했다. 

특히 IT 업계는 삼성과 같은 한국 기업들이 위력을 발휘할 수 있는 분야라며 더 큰 노력을 촉구했다.

현재 국내에서는 잡스의 죽음 이후, 삼성과 애플의 관계개선과 함께 삼성이 스마트전에서 애플을 제치고 선두를 차지하게 될 가능성이 조심스럽게 점쳐지고 있다. 

하지만 당분간은 별세한 애플사의 창업주 스티브 잡스를 추모하기 위해 전 세계 애플팬들 너도 나도 iPhone, iPad 등 잡스가 출시했던 제품을 사들이면서 당분간은 애플이 호황을 누릴 것이라고 린드스트롬은 덧붙였다.

(김지현, 김주연기자)