Despite the tension between the Silicon Valley giant Apple and South Korean manufacturer Samsung over their on-going legal battles, the latter remains one of the suppliers to the former. In fact, the latest iPad mini which was released earlier this month uses display technology from Samsung. But just so it’s clear, not the entire display panel of iPad Mini came from the South Korean, only small but relevant portion of it.
One electronic repair company said that the iPad’s little brother powered by Apple’s own powerful A5 processor and packed with features like FaceTime HD camera, SK Hynix flash memory, a series of Fairchild Semiconductor International chips, and a Broadcom touch controller, has a little Samsung-ish in its display.
According to iFixit, Apple once more worked with Samsung for its display panel. While LCD markings did not disclose enough information, iFixit had discovered it through the Samsung display driver chip.
“Though the markings on the back of the LCD (display) don’t turn up much information, the Samsung display driver (chip) reveals that Apple once again went with Samsung in its display manufacturing,” iFixit said.
Does it mean Samsung can sue Apple over the display of iPad Mini? No, because apparently, Apple did not copy Samsung’s technology or infringed its patents over such technology. The Apple-Samsung legal war may leave an impression that these tech giants are on a nasty business relationship. But the fact is they are not. Both should have benefited from iPad Mini’s good sales performance.
Samsung sells display driver ICs, which means any company (even if they are competitors) can buy them to be used for their devices. Unless the company’s rights and patents are infringed, other OEMs couldn’t be sued over it. That’s business.
Both companies, Apple and Samsung, are competing in the rapid economic growth of mobile industry. There have been speculations and reports that Apple aims to be less dependent on Samsung. The fact that only a display driver chip was used in the Mini is evident the Silicon Valley tech giant is now slowly trying to cut its association with its fierce competitor.
Samsung has stopped supplying display panels for iPhone and have lessened its participation in the manufacturing of iPad. This forced Apple to turn to SK Hynix and Elpida Memory for the memory chips for its iPhone 5.
It has been foreseen by many analyst that Apple will be slowly terminating Samsung as its major supplier of microprocessors and switch to TSMC supplier, another Samsung competitor.
It appeared that the iPad Mini was sold to the market with a more expensive price than what was expected by many analysts. The Wi-Fi model can be purchased at the price of $329. It was believed to be in direct competition with Google Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire but the price says Apple needs to be what it’s known for.