Apple’s iPads and iPhones are finding it hard to get brain of its own, unlike to Samsung devices which have its own processors and memory chips, Apple’s devices use other brands memory chips and processors and even screens for iPad are not of Apple’s own production.
Earlier Apple used to import screens for both iPhone & iPad from Samsung, however now the company no longer buys iPhone screens from Samsung after series of suing and counter-suing each other and rivalry grew to next level, prominently after recent Apple’s complaint against Samsung in April this year where the former sues the later for various infringements including Patent and trademark Infringement and copying shape & design that Samsung has given to its much famous Galaxy phones and tablets.
As per WSJ Article – Apple no longer buys iPhone screens from Samsung and has reduced iPad-screen purchases. And Apple has been buying more flash-memory chips an essential part for storing data from other makers, say former Apple executives and officials at another chip supplier.
Still even today Apple is one of Samsung’s biggest customers for processors and memory chips, that is around $10 billion out of $59.13 billion total sales of Samsung last year, so even Samsung cannot call off this partnership, as Apple is representing a big part of Samsung chips sales, so it cannot afford to lose client like Apple.
Apple will probably keep buying chips from Samsung for at least a year. Notably, Samsung on other hand is world’s biggest manufacturer processors, memory and high-resolution screens and Apple have no choice to but to critically depends on Samsung for making its devices complete.
Apple has recently signed a deal and also invested in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) to start buying chips from TSMC, reason for this investment is to have TSMC set a dedicated factory space to manufacture chips for Apple only.
Apple’s partnership with TSMC to produce new generations of its AX line of ARM-based chips has long been understood to be at the core of the iPhone maker’s plan to shift its component sourcing away from Samsung.
Despite the TSMC deal, Samsung will remain the primary supplier until next year and from next year onwards TSMC plans to start mass-producing the chips using advanced ’20-nanometer’ technology, which makes the chips potentially smaller and more energy-efficient.
An interesting story in this rivalry is that other companies gaining profit in it, like – in 2010 when iPhone 4 was launched Apple helped Sharp Corp. and Toshiba Corp. to expand their factories to stop purchasing screens from Samsung and rely more on other screen suppliers like Sharp & Toshiba. However, Samsung bought 3% stake in Sharp to become fifth-largest shareholder in Sharp Corp. and prevented Apple from gaining more bargaining power with Sharp.