When Samsung Electronics released the first Galaxy S in 2010, it wasn’t just investors and tech enthusiasts that sat up and took notice. Apple’s top management – including Steve Jobs himself – were incensed, feeling that the phone’s design was far too similar to the iPhone.
Adding insult to injury was the fact that Samsung was one of Apple’s major suppliers. In 2010, Apple was Samsung’s second-biggest customer (behind Sony), and used the Korean company’s processors in the iPhone 4.
Litigation started in spring 2011, and by August the two companies were engaged in 19 cases across nine countries as they sued and countersued each other over a variety of perceived infringements. The ongoing battles cost both companies billions, and brought other smartphone manufacturers into a massive patent war.
In 2012, a US jury awarded Apple $1.05 billion in damages over patent infringements. While the award was far below the $2.5 billion request by Apple, it still led to the largest single-day fall in Samsung stock since the 2008 financial crash. The war was far from over, though, with several countries ruling in Samsung’s favour instead over the next several years.