Apple relies on Samsung more than ever for iPad displays

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Think Apple is free from Samsung after defeating it yet again in court for flat out copying the iPhone infringing on several Apple patents? Think again!

In fact, when it comes to the iPad Apple is more reliant on Samsung than ever, according to a new report which suggests that the South Korean tech giant became the largest supplier of iPad displays in the first quarter of 2014.

Samsung’s status as top iPad display panel supplier mean that it shipped approximately 5.2 million units of 9.7-inch panels with a resolution of 2,048×1,536: accounting for whopping 62% of total shipments of that display size and resolution, which is used by Apple for the iPad Air and iPad with Retina display.

LG Display, which  is also a major display supplier to Apple, saw its share of that display size/resolution fall from 61% to 38% in the fourth quarter of 2013.

And that’s not all. Despite Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s (TSMC’s) expected role as the supplier of Apple’s next generation A series processor, Samsung is not yet out of the running — and Apple could still source its so-called A8 processor from the Korean tech giant, along with processors beyond the A8.

(Korean language)

  • William D

    It’s difficult to argue that Samsung can’t innovate when they execute on key manufacturing capabilities to apple’s approved rigorous standards. I’m trying to picture the price of and quality Of an iPad or iPhone without their supplies – apple presumably must have a truly desperate need to go with them at this point!

    • tumtumtum

      Um. That’s like saying that book printers are “creative” like writers. They’re fabricating and manufacturing. Probably using equipment purchased for them by Apple.

      • Nick V

        So Samsung doesn’t have to develop the technologies that Apple wants? Ummm, that sounds like you want to sound smart, but missed the mark.

      • William D

        For Samsung, for example, to be able to churn out high enough rates of retina screens, in presumably a cost efficient way (to win the tender) means they’ve surely got some skill somewhere along the line. I would argue that your example of book printers is not that bad really – there’s plenty of IP in high-yield printing machines.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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