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Implication of Globalization: Samsung and Apple Dispute


The smartphone industry is one of the most rapidly developing fields, and this fact inevitably leads to the emergence of conflicts between prominent companies. Hence, the case of Samsung and Apple negotiating about the legitimacy of their actions is no exception to the rule. The mentioned enterprises were actively engaged in the attempts to reveal the illegality of another party’s conduct while accusing each other of stealing ideas (PON staff, 2020). It seems to be the most illustrative example of failed negotiations, and their consequences are informative for scholars. However, to fully understand the process and its progress, it is critical to consider specific factors affecting it. Therefore, the paper aims to present the implications of globalization and technology on this situation to trace the patterns of such occasions in the business world.

The Implication of Globalization

The high level of penetration of mobile devices in all of the world’s countries significantly contributes to the development of the industry. From this perspective, the success of Apple and Samsung is defined by the trend for expansion of their products’ distribution. In other words, these companies’ activities are influenced by globalization, which conditions their overall progress. Nevertheless, this phenomenon affects not only their regular business operations but also various disputes, as in the case of negotiations that started in 2012 and presented a high-profile case (PON staff, 2020). This situation allows concluding on the necessity to analyze its impact on conflict resolution and the emergence of specific claims.

At the beginning of this process, the companies could not agree on several patents and were allegedly willing to compromise. This intention was conditional upon the attempts to avoid going to court since the outcome of hearings would be unpredictable and, therefore, would necessarily bring losses to all of the participants (PON staff, 2020). Since both enterprises were present on the international market, this decision could hinder their further development and expansion, which implied the damage to their image and popularity of their products overseas (PON staff, 2020). This way, their initial policies in the conflict were defined by the concept of globalization, which requires present-day enterprises to continuously increase their presence for receiving more significant benefits.

To avoid complications, Apple and Samsung decided to resort to the mediation process. However, this solution happened to be inapplicable to the case since not only potential financial losses presented a threat to the companies’ further development on the global market. As can be seen from the history of the conflict, they mostly could not agree on several features and functions that were claimed to be copied (PON staff, 2020). This factor was no less essential for their progress within the framework of globalization since the uniqueness of products is one of the principal circumstances boosting their growth. Therefore, the possible harm to the companies could be caused not only by direct losses but also by the emergence of similarity of their products.

Alongside these two factors, the dependence of Apple on Samsung was critical for the definition of their policy in dispute resolution. Thus, since the latter was one of their biggest suppliers, the damage to their relationship could lead to the lack of required components for their devices for an unidentified period until they find a new partner (PON staff, 2020). This situation could also hinder the global expansion of Apple, which was undesirable for the company’s position in the world market. This adds to the previously discussed considerations and allows concluding on the possible harm to both participants in the case of the failure to resolve the conflict peacefully.

The Implication of Technological Considerations

The constant competition between enterprises manufacturing smartphones and similar products makes them seek ways for improvement. This tendency is conditional upon the creation of opportunities for faster development of companies through the incorporation of technological innovation. It also correlates with the concept of globalization presented above. This consideration affected the dispute between Apple and Samsung as well. Since most of the claims filed by both manufacturers were related to patents, the situation can be described as an attempt to prevent losses stemming from the unlawful use of their technology. As follows from the case, they did not manage to resolve this aspect of the matter without the court’s assistance (PON staff, 2020). As a result, the outcome of the conflict was mostly negative for the participants.

Both parties had particular reasons to demonstrate discontent with each other regarding the use of the innovative functions and appearance of devices. The first company to file a lawsuit on this ground was Apple, and its claims were based on the alleged copying of their mobile phones’ design by Samsung (PON staff, 2020). They argued that the iPhone, which was one of their principal products, possessed some unique features, which were borrowed by Samsung while developing their Galaxy line of smartphones in Korea (PON staff, 2020). Therefore, the uniqueness of the former’s model was under threat from the latter’s actions that seemed to be illegal from the perspective of patent ownership. This argument represented the main claim of Apple against Samsung in court, and this accusation, in turn, evoked their similar response.

The latter company found another violation concerning this area, which was ascribed to Apple this time. Samsung countersued them for not paying royalties while using their wireless transmission technology and this factor seemed to be serious enough to start the confrontation that lasted for years (PON staff, 2020). Its development was accompanied by continuously emerging arguments regarding other patents related to both functions of their smartphones and tablets and their appearance (PON staff, 2020). When this process started, they attempted to find a compromise (PON staff, 2020). However, it was impossible in the case of technological disagreement, and, as a result, Apple won more than $409 million (PON staff, 2020). This outcome demonstrates the complications corresponding to the cases that involve technology and the inability of enterprises to resolve conflicts peacefully under such circumstances.


To summarize, both the concept of globalization in the development of manufacturers of mobile devices and the technology that they use presented the ground for confrontation. As can be seen from the analysis of the conflict between Apple and Samsung, they were the principal considerations for their policy in negotiations and, consequently, in court. The first aspect of the matter was connected to hindering the progress of both companies in the international market stemming from their financial losses. The second factor provided the basis for long-term court proceedings and demonstrated its dominant impact on the outcome. Thus, globalization and technology complemented each other in the dispute of the companies.


PON staff. (2020). Negotiation in business: Apple and Samsung’s dispute resolution case study. Harvard Law School. Web.

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