updated 11:07 pm EDT, Thu September 6, 2012
Order reduction allegedly not a response to ongoing trials
According to sources familiar with the matter, Apple has reduced its orders for memory chips for iPhone production from its main supplier Samsung Electronics. Samsung provides both DRAM and NAND storage for the iPhone, iPad, and iPhone lines. The industry source reports that Apple has picked Toshiba, Micron-owned Elpida, and SK Hynix to supply chips for the new devices in the pipeline.
South Korea-based Samsung has been Apple's primary supplier in the past, and "is still on the list of initial memory chip suppliers. But Apple orders have been trending down, and Samsung is making up for the reduced order from others, notably Samsung's handset business," the source told the Korea Economic Daily.
The source denied that the cut in orders was driven by the ongoing patent disputes raging between the giants around the world. Samsung remains the sole producer of the Apple-designed A-series processor powering the iOS device line.
After taking a significant blow in US courts for patent infringement in an ongoing legal battle with Apple, Samsung is reportedly working to ensure that the conflict does not pollute the companies' component partnerships. The Korean company is said to have held an emergency meeting in Seoul, as executives talked of maintaining an "internal firewall" between the company's phone segment and component supply group. [via Reuters]