Samsung won't block iPhone 4S sales in Korea

Korean handset giant reportedly drops legal case to ban iPhone 4S sales in home country, but no official word yet on other efforts to push for ban elsewhere worldwide.

South Korean consumer electronics giant and handset maker, Samsung, has reportedly reversed its earlier decision to seek a legal ban on the sale of rival Apple's iPhone 4S in its home country.

The company decided against seeking an injunction against the sale of the iPhone 4S in the domestic market, apparently over concerns the issue would generate negative publicity, Korean daily The Chosunilbo reported Monday. The iPhone 4S officially went on sale in South Korea on Nov. 11.

"We concluded that we should engage in legal battles with Apple only in the global market, but not in order to gain more market share in Korea," an unnamed senior Samsung executive said in the report.

The Korean company had debated until the last moment whether to file the motion in Korea, after making similar applications elsewhere in the world, according to the report.

On Oct. 22, Samsung's mobile communications business chief, Shin Jong-kyun, said the company would seek to file a motion in a Korean court to ban the sale of the iPhone 4S in the local market, The Chosunilbo earlier reported.

In October, it applied for a similar ban in Australia, Japan as well as France and Italy--the last of which rejected the case.

Samsung has yet to make any official comment on the status of these lawsuits.

The company's latest move is part of an ongoing and escalating legal spat with rival Apple--which started in April when Apple sued Samsung for copying its smartphones and tablet--resulting in counter-actions between both companies over patents, licenses and intellectual property, sales injunctions, verbal lashings and regulatory scrutiny.

Apple is a major customer of mobile chips and other components such as displays manufactured by Samsung--something Cupertino reportedly wants to wean off by liaising with other suppliers.

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