Apple CEO Tim Cook Never Liked the Idea of Suing Samsung

According to his biography, former Apple chief Steve Jobs once stated he was willing to bankrupt the company he founded, if need be, to "destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this." The fact that he was willing to "spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank" on legal beagles shows how intensely committed he was to protecting his product, his IP, and the Apple brand.

Enter his successor, Tim Cook, who has taken a different approach on things since being handed the reins. It was under Cook that the iPhone's screen size grew half and inch, and he oversaw the release of the iPad mini, a tablet Jobs would have called a tweener device. But these two CEOs don't just differ in product philosophy.

According to a rather interesting Reuters report, Cook was opposed to suing Samsung for copying the look and feel of Apple devices, mostly because of Samsung's relationship with Apple as a key supplier for components. It's estimated Apple spent in the neighborhood of $8 billion on parts from Samsung last year.

Samsung Galaxy S III

The partnership between Apple and Samsung dates back to 2005, back when the Cupertino outfit was on the hunt for a stable supplier of flash memory. Samsung fit the bill, and their relationship grew tighter with the release of the iPhone. Where things started to sour was with the release of the Galaxy S, an Android device with a similar look and feel to the iPhone.

As the story goes, Jobs and Cook shared their concerns with Samsung and expected that the Korean handset maker would alter the design. Samsung didn't, and Jobs suspected it was because the company thought its supplier relationship would prevent Apple from suing the company.

Had things been up to Cook at the time, that might have been true.