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Young Sohn, Samsung's Chief Strategy Officer, Still Uses Apple Gadgets At Home

12/13/2012 06:34 pm ET

As Samsung's bitter bitter legal battle with Apple over mobile technology patents drags on, you'd never expect a top Samsung exec to admit something like this.

"I use a Mac, actually, at home. I’ve always used Mac, an iPhone, and an iPad," said Young Sohn, Samsung's chief strategy officer, in an interview with MIT's Technology Review.

That's right: While Samsung might have to pay Apple $1.05 billion in damages (and possibly more, if Apple gets its way) for infringing on some of the iPhone-maker's design patents, and while Apple tries to block the sale of some Samsung-made tablets and smartphones in the U.S. and elsewhere, Samsung's tactical guru is kicking back at the end of a long day to watch some Netflix on his iPad -- a device Apple once claimed Samsung "slavishly copies."

Young Sohn, how could you?

Hired by Samsung in August, Sohn revealed to Tech Review that he was an Apple gadget user long before he joined the South Korea-based electronics giant. "At work I’m using Samsung devices; Apple at home, mainly because all of my systems and files are done that way," said Sohn. "That’s sticky, you know? However, I did figure out how to sync all of my contacts and all of my schedules between the two different systems. You can do it. It’s a bit of work, but it is possible."

It seems odd that one of Samsung's top brass would openly admit batting for both teams. Especially since such rivalries have been known to spill over into employee's home lives. Microsoft founder Bill Gates, for example, told Tom Brokaw in 2008 that he wouldn't store any of his personal music on one of Apple's iPods. "I use what is called a Zune," he told Brokaw.

Gate's wife Melinda told the New York Times Magazine that she doesn't let her kids use Apple devices, either. "Nothing [made by Apple] crosses the threshold of our doorstep," she insisted.

There's a similar anti-Apple vibe felt within the Microsoft offices, too. Several Microsoft employees, for example, dished to the Wall Street Journal in 2010 about how they have felt pressured on multiple occasions to dump their iPhones (or disguise them so execs won't recognize the Apple-branded tech), and how CEO Steve Ballmer has strongly hinted that employees should be seen carrying around handsets running Microsoft's Windows Phone software.

"Maybe once a year I'm in a meeting with Steve Ballmer," one Microsoft employee, an iPhone user, told the Journal. "It doesn't matter who's calling, I'm not answering my phone."

Maybe Samsung execs aren't sticklers for reinforcing rivalries when it comes to its workers' personal devices. But things might get awkward if Young Sohn invites one of his bosses over for dinner and leaves his iPad laying around.

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