Apple has reportedly made some cutbacks on its orders of memory chips for the new iPhone from Samsung. According to Reuters, Apple has instead increased orders from Toshiba, Elpida Memory, and SK Hynix to supply DRAM and NAND chips.
Samsung has been a key supplier to Apple in the past, producing micro processors, flat screens and memory chips for Apple products like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. Apple is said to be trying to diversify its lines of supply for memory chips to reduce its reliance on one of its biggest smartphone competitors. However, Samsung is also the world’s largest maker of flat screens and DRAM/NAND memory.
Reuters cited The Korea Economic Daily ,which first reported that Apple had let Samsung go from the list of memory chip suppliers for the first shipment of the new iPhone.
According to a Reuters source, “Samsung is still in the list of initial memory chip supplier[s] (for new iPhones). But Apple orders have been trending down and Samsung is making up for the reduced order from others, notably Samsung’s handset business.”
With Apple and Samsung waging patent wars across the globe, it seems likely that Apple is trying to reduce reliance on a major competitor, although this has just been speculation so far. Whatever the reason, they probably won’t be able to drop Samsung as a supplier completely, as Samsung is the only supplier of Retina displays for the third-generation iPad and supplies a number of other components to Apple.