Oh man, as if Apple and Samsung needed any more reasons to be at each other's throats, now a former Samsung executive has revealed he leaked some key iPad specs before the tablet was announced. It's like they're trying to annoy each other.
The former Samsung employee in question is Suk-Joo Hwang, who was a manager at the company. He admitted at an insider trading trial that he leaked confidential information about iPad components before Apple had made the tablet official. Naughty boy.
He was speaking at the trial of James Fleishman, an executive at Primary Global Research who's accused of helping facilitate the exchange of confidential information between traders and employees at various companies. Hwang is immune from prosecution thanks to a deal, so he was free to spill the beans without worry of being banged up.
Hwang said he had lunch with Fleishman and a hedge fund manager and passed on top secret info on LCDs Samsung was supplying for the iPad. "One particular thing I remember vividly was that I talked about the shipment numbers of Apple, it was about iPad," he testified. "This is in December 2009, before it came out with the tablet PC, they didn't know the name then, so I talked to them about the tablet shipment estimates in that meeting."
Hwang was paid $200 an hour "consultation fee" which was raised to $350 an hour after he tried to end the deal.
Both knew what they were doing was wrong, Hwang said, and he even feared he was overheard by an Apple employee at one point. Soon after Apple cancelled a supply contract with Samsung, and he tried to put an end to his dealings with Fleishman.
Hwang left Samsung in June of this year. Fleishman, from California, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of conspiracy for facilitating the scheme; if convicted, he could face 25 years in prison.
There's certainly no love lost between the two companies, with Apple suing Samsung in Japan and in the UK as well. Apple also managed to have Samsung's Galaxy Tab banned in Germany for allegedly copying design elements from its iPad. Strange, considering Samsung supplies components for Apple devices.