Samsung and Apple are going to be providing us with plenty of entertainment in the coming months I suspect. Apple have sued the Korean company for copying the look and feel of the iPhone (something somewhat disproved by the existence of the Samsung F700, a phone that predates the iPhone by some 12 months) and Samsung have countersued for infringement of 10 technical patents.
What's the cause of this sudden fractious behaviour between two significant technology partners? I'm guessing that Apple's forthcoming move into consumer electronics - TV specifically - will intrude on Samsung's core market. In fact its likely that Apple's filing last week was a pre-emptive strike in the knowledge that Samsung was preparing something of its own.
The next step in this particular battle will play out when Samsung's current agreement to supply components to Apple expires.
If Apple has lined up alternate suppliers its in a strong position to walk away, causing Samsung massive problems with over capacity in its manufacturing arm. On the other hand if Apple is reliant on Samsung because no one else can fill the volume it requires then Apple's future growth is at significant risk.
My feeling is that Apple has started a war here that it's sure it can win. Its taken ownership of it's own chip plants and has $40bn in cash reserves sat in its weapons chest.
Samsung has got some rocky times ahead, that's for sure.