Samsung chief: we're open to a cross-licensing deal with Apple, but 4G chip shortage might last until the fall

The at times very heated legal battle between Apple and Samsung might be softening just a bit ahead of truce talks on May 21st. Samsung's mobile head JK Shin just left Seoul for the mediated discussions saying there were still "several negotiation options" on tap, including the possibility of cross-licensing patents. He warned that there was still a "big gap" between the two sides, and we'd tend to agree -- neither Apple nor Samsung is exactly backing off just yet. However, it's a definite shift in language from March, when Shin was vowing "no compromise," and it parallels Apple CEO Tim Cook's own disdain for lawsuits. We just wouldn't bet money on the two singing "Kumbaya" this week.

In same breath, Shin added that an ongoing 4G chipset shortage wasn't letting up: he didn't see things getting better until the start of the fourth quarter, or October for us common folk. That's a problem for Samsung's phones and tablets most of all, of course, and in a dire case could see LTE-packing American Galaxy S III variants rely on other vendors' chips to stay on the 4G bandwagon. There's also a chance of a ripple effect on other companies that want Samsung's parts, but short of getting a peek at Samsung's inner workings, we won't know the full impact for awhile yet.