Samsung won’t try to block iPhone 4S sales in South Korea

Samsung has surprisingly decided not to file for an injunction against Apple’s iPhone 4S (s aapl) in its home country of South Korea, it told major Korean newspaper The Chosunilbo on Monday. The decision comes after similar attempts are already underway in France, Italy, Australia and Japan.
A Samsung executive told The Chosunilbo that Samsung “concluded that we should engage in legal battles only in the global market, but not in order to gain more market share in Korea,” with the paper suggesting that Samsung’s decision was driven by “public-relations concerns.” In other words, it seems possible that Samsung doesn’t want to target Apple in its home country for fear that the buying public will perceive the move in a negative light, affecting their opinion of Samsung as a brand.
Korean smartphone buyers would definitely not welcome an iPhone 4S injunction. During its launch in that country last Friday, stores saw long lines and hosted special events as South Koreans proved themselves very eager to get Apple’s latest device.
Samsung’s progress in its ongoing patent cases around the world has been mixed. Recently, it experienced a major setback in Australia when a judge there granted Apple’s request for an injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1. But on Friday at a trial in the Mannheim Regional Court in Germany, a hearing appears to be leaning toward a positive outcome for Samsung, though no final decision has yet been made.