Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee

Is South Korea’s Samsung preparing to settle ongoing mobile patent disputes with Apple, perhaps curtailing the firm’s dependance on smart phones for future profits?

That’s the conjecture as Samsung’s chairman prepares to meet reporters later this week, following comments on returning from a three-month trip to Japan and Hawaii.

According to one South Korean newspaper, “several pending issues” will be on the plate of Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee…

The Korea Times report comes on the heels of last week’s International Trade Commission ruling that Samsung devices infringe on Apple technology for selecting text on mobile devices.

As well, Samsung recently announced $7.7 billion in profit during the first quarter of 2013 – more than half of which was fueled by sales of smartphones. According to The Korea Times, Samsung could “cut its reliance on its mobile business.”

Samsung Experience Shops (Best Buy 001)

The comment appears awkward, given the imminent release of the Galaxy S4, as well as the large sum the South Korean firm has spent on marketing its family of Galaxy handsets. That reliance on smartphone sales has also cost Samsung its chipmaking business, Apple, which makes the rival iPhone.

The Samsung chairman, pictured top of post, told reporters when arriving back home that the company should “always have a sense of crisis” and aim to “run faster and always study to have insights.”

What should be made of Samsung’s new comments?

Is there a sense of complacency at the company, which the chairman believes has come to be known only as a cell phone maker?

Are the comments meant for Apple as a signal that Samsung wants to stop the expensive legal wrangling, perhaps regaining Apple’s lucrative contract?

The questions remain unanswered until possible Wednesday, when the Samsung leader is expected to again speak with reporters.