What you need to know

  • Smartphone venders Samsung and Huawei reached a settlement.
  • They'd reportedly lobbed more than 40 lawsuits back and forth since 2016.
  • Companies likely will turn focus to global slowdown in smartphone demand.

Another one of the smartphone world's biggest cases was settled today: the three-year patent battle between Samsung and Huawei. Media in reported Tuesday that the two companies reached the settlement after receiving reconciliation with the Guangdong High People's Court in southern China, reports Nikkei Asian review. Given the country's economic slowdown and Samsung's less-than-stellar fourth-quarter in 2018, these smartphone titans will likely divert their attention to addressing the startling slowdown in worldwide.

The companies have been locked in lawsuits in both China and the U.S. since May 2016, when Huawei sued Samsung for alleged patent infringement concerning its 4G wireless and other technology. That prompted the smartphone market's top player to fire back with a countersuit, and so on and so forth. Rumor has it that combined the two have launched more than 40 lawsuits at each other since then.

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As two of the leading smartphone retailers in Asia, Samsung and Huawei likely settled to focus their resources on an issue that threatens them both. In 2018, global smartphone sales dropped nearly 5 percent to 1.4 billion units, according to International Data Corp. One of the former undisputed Android kings, HTC, might be exiting the Chinese smartphone market completely after pulling its phones from two of the country's largest e-commerce sites earlier this month.

At least Huawei's latest phone, the P30 Pro, looks to be a hit with one of the most versatile camera systems to date. Meanwhile, Samsung no doubt still has its hands full recovering from the sting of the public response to its Galaxy Fold. The foldable phone/tablet hybrid intended to redefine how we think about mobile devices recently had to be completely recalled, its global launch postponed indefinitely. Thankfully, a recent update from Samsung's CEO suggests that date will probably be sooner rather than later.

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