Yesterday, two conflicting reports came out regarding Samsung and Apple’s display sales relationship. What is clear is that the relationship is growing increasingly fierce, and that Apple is moving its display production to other display manufacturers, such as LG, Sharp and Japan Display.
Samsung & Apple’s display relationship
Yesterday, a report from Korea Times said that Samsung would stop selling LCD displays to Apple starting in 2013. It also said that Apple had already significantly reduced production levels at Samsung’s plants and moved production to other manufacturers. Shortly after, Samsung denied the report. However, the reports had some interesting tidbits.
Firstly, Apple is said to have moved display orders away from Samsung to other display manufacturers during the second half of 2012. In the first half of 2012, Apple purchased 15 million LCD panels from Samsung, making Samsung the largest display supplier for Apple, topping LG Display’s 12.5 million and Sharp’s 2.8 million.
Samsung; once the largest LCD supplier for Apple is being replaced by other display manufacturers following the patent disputes. The iPhone 5 has no Samsung panels inside
However, in the third quarter of 2012 shipments from Samsung were reduced to just 3 million and in the fourth quarter of 2012 Apple is said to only buy 1.5 million LCD panels from Samsung.
Korea Times cited a Samsung employee for the first report, who said that Samsung hoped to make up for the loss of their biggest customer be selling LCD panels to for example Amazon and Samsung’s own mobile devices. And although the report was later denied by Samsung, we know that something is happening.
You’re fired! Ok!? Then I quit!
In what seems to be a strange case of “You’re fired! Ok!? Then I quit!”, Apple and Samsung’s relationship seems to have faded since the patent disputes started. Apple has not only moved LCD display production away from Samsung but also memory chips and is said to also move CPU production away over the next few years.
Apple has used Samsung’s LCD panels in the New iPad, Macbooks and in iPhone 4 and 4S. However, in the latest iPhone 5, Apple has switched to other partners and the rumored iPad Mini is also said to exclude Samsung LCD panels. Panasonic is also rumored to be included in the supplier list.