SAN FRANCISCO/SEOUL: It was the late Steve Jobs' worst nightmare.
A powerful Asian manufacturer, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, uses Google Inc's Android software to create smartphones and tablets that closely resemble the iPhone and the iPad. Samsung starts gaining market share, hurting Apple Inc's margins and stock price and threatening its reign as the king of cool in consumer electronics.
Jobs, of course, had an answer to all this: a "thermo-nuclear" legal war that would keep clones off the market. Yet nearly two years after Apple first filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Samsung, and six months after it won a huge legal victory over its South Korean rival, Apple's chances of blocking the sale of Samsung products are growing dimmer by the day.