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siri-iphone-4s-adKorean electronics manufacturer Samsung has decided not to pursue a lawsuit to block the sale of the iPhone 4S in South Korea, as it apparently feared backlash from Korean consumers wanting to get their hands on the latest Apple device.

Samsung previously declared its intention to block the sale of the iPhone 4S using lawsuits in Italy, France, Australia and Japan, but the company was unsure if it would continue that legal battle on its home front in South Korea because it could look bad from a public relations standpoint.

“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 Samsung executive told local Korean outlet The Chosunilbo.

Apple and Samsung have been sparring in courts around the world since April, when Apple sued Samsung in the U.S. for “slavishly” copying the designs of the iPhone and iPad with its Galaxy phones and tablets. Samsung filed a counter-suit against Apple in the U.S. that didn’t do anything, but the battle also extended to the U.S. International Trade Commission, which can block the importation of devices into the U.S.

The U.S. court trial between Apple and Samsung will likely happen in July 2012. Apple designers like Jonathan Ive and Christopher Stringer are supposed to complete depositions for the case before Dec. 1.

The relationship between Samsung and Apple remains complicated because Apple still purchases large quantities of chips and other components manufactured by Samsung.


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