Despite being mobile device competitors and courtroom opponents, Apple and Samsung are likely to continue their bittersweet relationship for the foreseeable future. That is manifested by DisplaySearch?s report saying that Samsung emerged as Apple?s major supplier of the 9.7 inch display panels used by Apple?s current generation iPad Air and the fourth generation iPad with Retina display.
The market research firm?s report, supported by a ZDNet Korea article, further said that Samsung had shipped 5.2 million units of those 9.7 inch, 2048 x 1536 resolution display, making the Korean company?s share rise to 62% for the first quarter of 2014. ?Samsung?s increased share in Apple?s display panel sources hurt LG Display which is another major display supplier and long-time partner. LG has only shipped about 3.2 million units, accounting for only 38% of total shipments, down from the 61% they enjoyed from the quarter before that.
However, Samsung?s role as a chief display supplier for Apple is only one part of the story. The Korean giant is also in charge of manufacturing A-series microprocessors for Apple. Those processors, along with the latest version A7 chip embedded in the iPad Mini, iPad with Retina, iPad Air and iPhone 5S, are all made by Samsung in their major chip production facility located at the city of Austin, Texas.
All this is happening at a time when both mega-companies are embroiled in various courtroom battles, most of those involving Samsung?s alleged infringement of Apple?s design patents. But apparently, that did not affect Samsung?s several hardware deals with the California-based tech company. Industry watchers see this as a strategy by Apple to minimize their reliance on a single source for their hardware needs.
There are also ongoing speculations for a couple of years now that Apple is aiming to eliminate Samsung altogether from their supply chain due to the Korean company?s status as an end-product competitor and because of the mentioned lawsuits. One supposed manifestation of this rumor is that Apple is reportedly planning to shift their A series processor source gradually to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).
Photo Source: ?Apple.com