Samsung COO Lee Jae-yong's visit to Steve Jobs' memorial led to the rumored talks with Apple, the Korean executive said Wednesday. Along with a deal through at least 2012, he and Apple CEO Tim Cook discussed deals for 2013 and 2014 for "even better parts," he told the Korea Herald. The two-hour talk touched on their earlier history as well as improving relations between the two in the future.
The primary plan for the visit was the memorial, Lee said, characterizing the talk with Cook as incidental. He was non-committal on whether the chat would help ease tensions between the two, which were reaching a fever pitch as Samsung was losing favor in courts and hoping to hold on to lawsuits of its own.
While Samsung has been making public gestures of escalating its legal battle with Apple even as it minimizes further conflicts, Lee was more deliberate. Samsung needed to 'weigh its options' on whether to heat up the conflict or cool down. The firm wouldn't go without a response, but any action would need high-level decisions.
Samsung's role as an important component supplier for Apple, and its respect for the company's work has led to seemingly self-contradictory behavior. It moved the Galaxy Nexus event by a week to this past Tuesday out of sensitivity to the loss of Steve Jobs, even as the event took minor digs at Apple.