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Samsung remains a key supplier for Apple’s iPhone despite patent disputes, competition


No matter which way you cut it, it remains remarkable that Samsung continues to serve as a key component supplier to Apple for the innards of the iPhone and iPad line while also being a major competitor in the mobile phone space. In fact, to this day, it is hard to argue that there is a bigger Apple component partner than Samsung.

Just as Samsung prepares to unveil its latest flagship Galaxy S6 next week, The Korea Times reports that Apple and Samsung have struck a deal for the latter company to supply the former with at least 50% of the mobile DRAM chips used it Apple’s followup to the iPhone 6 expected later this fall. But that’s the tip o’ the iceberg as they say…

Add that to The Korea Times echoing earlier reporting that Samsung will fab a whopping 80% of Apple’s next A9 processors, something Samsung has all but said itself, and you start to see Apple’s dependence on Samsung as a supplier for its biggest business—the iPhone. Samsung still makes lots of displays for iOS devices though Apple was seen as trying to reduce the competitor’s role in recent years.

There are even rumors that Samsung was included in Apple Watch’s display bidding.

As for the competition between Apple and Samsung, there’s certainly no signs of cooling in that area for the two companies.

Just as example rolled out Apple Pay with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus enabling NFC-based mobile payments in various retailers, Samsung bought up LoopPay promising to bolster its own mobile commerce effort. Even on the distant-but-happening Apple Car project, Samsung just yesterday bought the battery division of a company rumored to be in talks with Apple.

For Apple’s part, the iPhone maker is said to be actively recruiting both chip and battery experts from Samsung offering attractive deals for employees willing to jump ship and work for the competition.

The relationship is complicated to say the least, even as Samsung and Apple agreed last year to end all patent disputes outside of the United States.

What do you make of Apple’s ongoing business with Samsung in the wake of increased competition between the iPhone and Galaxy S phones and patent litigation in the United States?

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  1. Michael Superczynski - 8 years ago

    It’s a good business deal for both. Kind of an ‘Odd Couple’ of technology.

  2. chasim79 - 8 years ago

    yes good job dear

  3. jrox16 - 8 years ago

    Business is business, and Samsung is huge conglomerate spanning many industries, and chip making is one of their big ones. Apple is a HUGE customer to that part of their business. At the same time, Apple needs Samsung’s scale to fill it’s demands for chips.

  4. thejuanald - 8 years ago

    When these articles come up, I always wonder where the people who scream and yell that they will never own a product with Samsung components in it disappear to.

  5. Leif Paul Ashley - 8 years ago

    Kick Samsung to the curb flat out and once and for all. There are plenty of chip manufacturers that could produce this for Apple. Screens are a tad more limited, but why Apple keeps riding the Samsung bandwagon I have no idea.


Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news, hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour podcast, and created