According to a Korean news source, ETNews, Apple has mysteriously dropped Samsung from its supply lists, with the South Korean manufacturer absent from the parts estimate requests sent to its suppliers.
Samsung is one of the three suppliers for its iOS devices, with LG and Sharp being the other two companies making up Apple’s display supply team. However, if these reports are correct, Samsung will no longer be used.
Of course, recent legal battles and a strong rivalry at the very top of the smartphone market could mean that the relationship between Samsung and Apple has somewhat waned, but seeing as the South Korean manufacturer still produces the iPad’s processor, it wouldn’t be wise for Apple to cut ties altogether.
However, the recent Apple TV upgrade packed a smaller A5 chip produced on a suggested 28-nanometer process from the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), which would be the first iOS device not to use a CPU made by Samsung.
This could mean that Apple could be cutting ties with Samsung for both display and GPU supplies.
Of course, Samsung is enjoying great success in its smartphone and tablet line-up at the moment, so we don’t think the South Korean company will be that phased by a breakdown in its relationship with Apple.
“The orders [for components] can go up and down in the course of any business – some are sensitive about the issue, but I am not worried about it,” said Samsung’s Vice Chairman, Oh-hyun Kwon.
If Apple is still in the process of sorting out suppliers for the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 displays, the next-generation slates may not be with us as soon as we’d have hoped. Rumours had previously suggested that an April iPad 5 release date was on the cards, but others have said that Apple is planning a June launch event for the iPhone 5S and iPad 5.