Rumored iPhone 5 from iLab Factory (Photo Credit: iLab Factory)
Apple and Samsung may have been duking it out in courtrooms but the two companies rely on each other more than it seems. Samsung is a huge supplier to Apple's supply chain that makes iPhones and iPads but now it looks like Apple is beginning to phase out Samsung from its list of suppliers as the rumored September 21 release date approaches.
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Apple has sent out invitations to the media for a press conference that will most likely reveal the iPhone 5 on September 12. The smartphone is expected to begin selling through AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint on September 21.
Apple is the largest individual customer to Samsung, accounting for about 9 percent of the Korean company's revenue, according to Bloomberg data.
Now, over a dispute in pricing, it seems that Samsung will be cutting supplies of memory chips for the Apple iPhone 5. The first few batches of iPhone 5's won't be sporting Samsung displays either.
"Apple doesn't like to be dependent on Samsung -- there's no question about it," Lee Sun Tae, a Seoul-based analyst at NH Investment & Securities Co., told Bloomberg BusinessWeek. "There's only so much volume Apple can get from other vendors. They will probably have to come back to Samsung later on."
Apple has increasingly turned to various suppliers in what looks like an effort to not become too dependent on one single company. The Cupertino-based company now relies on LG Display, Sharp, and Toshiba among other suppliers.
After the courts found Samsung guilty of patent infringement and fined Samsung $1 billion, Apple has also supplied a list of Samsung devices it wants banned, including the Galaxy S3.
The iPhone 5 will be a major step forward for the iPhone series, and should introduce a bigger display, an NFC chip, and 4G capabilties.