Steve Giveth. Steve Taketh Away.

Don’t mess with Steve Jobs, even if you’re Samsung:

After an apparent “gaffe” by an executive from Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Apple Computer Inc. has reportedly “punished” the South Korean semiconductor giant by maintaining its MP3 chip alliance with SigmaTel Inc., according to an analyst.

Despite signs that Samsung was taking over the iPod chip business, struggling SigmaTel has managed to hold on to its key chip design within Apple’s current — and new — iPod Shuffle MP3 line …

So, what’s the cost of Apple doing this punitive late-stage reversal? How far had Apple gone in tooling a product for Samsung’s new chip? What are the non-recurring engineering expenses for going back to SigmaTel?