Apple's courtroom disputes with Samsung are really only an extension of Apple's battle against Google, according to Apple's former senior vice president of operations Jay Elliot.
The Korea Times reports that Elliot made the comments at the Tech Plus 2011 conference at Kyunghee University in South Korea early on Wednesday, saying that Apple and Samsung were likely to come to a compromise soon.
"The friction between Apple and Samsung is actually more of an extension of the conflict between Apple and Google, namely Android, and although Samsung’s Galaxy products did irritate Steve Jobs as I remember, I believe that Apple and Samsung will reach a compromise soon," Elliot said.
Elliot is the author of The Steve Jobs Way: iLeadership For A New Generation and was regarded as Jobs' right-hand man at one stage, though he left the company in 2000. He is now chief executive of software firm Nuval.
Elliot believes that the "economic value of Apple is much higher" than that of Samsung, despite Samsung recently overtaking Apple as the biggest smartphone maker in the world. Apple's value lies in the App Store and selling content, Elliot said.
However, Apple's motivation to engage Samsung in legal disputes was caused by Jobs' pride. Elliot said that the late Apple CEO had been "upset" after seeing the design of Samsung's Galaxy smartphones.
"[Apple is] trying to protect its uniqueness in the market. The phone market was the first market that Apple experienced where it encountered competitors who could match its uniqueness with their own uniqueness," Elliot said.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that Apple has been told by a judge that it must provide Samsung with details of its contracts with Australian mobile phone providers in the ongoing patent dispute in the country.
Apple needs to produce agreements it has with Vodafone, SingTel and Telstra if it wishes to contest an assertion in Samsung’s patent lawsuit that the carriers are contractually obliged to subsidise iPhone sales.
However, Apple said the move was a speculative effort to find damaging information and said it would fight the ruling.