For years, Samsung and Apple have enjoyed one of the most bizarre relationships in the tech industry. Fierce competitors in the smartphone market and archenemies in the ongoing patent wars, the two tech giants have collaborated closely in the device component business. Samsung has been providing critical smartphone and tablet components to Tim Cook’s company, including application processors, displays, and memory modules. In turn, the Koreans have made billions, thanks to the huge volumes generated by Apple’s business.
But slowly, Samsung and Apple are drifting apart. Just last week we learned that the Koreans are only providing chip foundry services for the A6 chip found in the iPhone 5, after designing it for several years. Moreover, Apple has been rumored to approach TSMC and even Intel for foundry services, and thus replace Samsung altogether.
Today, Korea Times reports that, according to an anonymous executive, Samsung Display will no longer make display panels for Apple, starting next year. The Koreans have already reduced the deliveries of displays to Apple, from 15 million LCDs in the first half of 2012, to 3 million in the third quarter, with an estimated 1.8 million units to be shipped by the end of the year.
Korea Times says that Samsung is no longer satisfied with the “huge price discounts” that Apple is demanding. The price per pixel has more than halved from the iPad 2 to the iPad 3, and Samsung is not happy about it. The Cupertino-based company is well-known throughout the industry for its hard bargaining tactics, which Apple is able to use due to its huge volumes and clout.
To replace the lost business from Apple, Samsung Display will reportedly sell more panels to the handset division of Samsung Electronics (its sister company) and Amazon.