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Samsung threatens to sue Apple if next iPhone has LTE

Well how’s this for a comeback? After being informed that they would have to pony up $1.05 billion for infringing on design and utility patents owned by Apple, Samsung has threatened to use a very important piece of firepower at some point down the line. Korea Times is reporting that Samsung is ready to sue Apple if the next iPhone has 4G LTE.

Samsung enjoys an extensive patent portfolio pertaining to LTE technology, and they reportedly own 10% of all LTE patents currently floating around. Apple has shown a key interest in LTE with the advent of the iPad 3. Because of its arrival inside the latest iPad the tech industry fully expects Apple to follow suit with the next iPhone.

“But why are they waiting for the iPhone if the iPad is out there right now,” you ask. Well, for one, waiting for the first LTE iPhone is probably the best strategic move Samsung can make. The iPhone makes up a lot more of Apple’s mobile sales than the iPad, and Samsung likely wants to land the biggest blow they can.

This is a very interesting development to behold, and it’ll be interesting to see if these supposed threats will change Apple’s mind about using LTE in the next iPhone. But even with the patents to back them up, Samsung could be subject to FRAND rules because of LTE being a standard.

Should the next iPhone launch with LTE and should Samsung decide to sue, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to get a victory of the same magnitude. I’m no patent expert, though, so I’m just going to grab some movie popcorn and watch this one unfold. [Korea Times]