Samsung is shooting down reports that emerged Monday suggesting it is no longer supplying LCD displays for use in Apple's iPhones and iPads.
According to a report Tuesday from the Wall Street Journal, a Samsung spokesperson has confirmed that the company is still, in fact, supplying Apple with LCD displays, and said the false reports were likely sparked by the two companies' on-going patent lawsuit.
"We did not cut the supply for Apple," a Samsung spokesperson from the company's Display unit told the Journal. "Because of the patent lawsuit, the industry is guessing we tried to cut the supply. We didn’t do that. We will continue to supply panels for any customer."
The first report of Samsung pulling the plug on its LCD shipments to Apple emerged Monday from The Korea Times, which suggested Apple was pushing Samsung for a more competitive price point. The report had cited an anonymous "senior industry official," and alleged Samsung had plans to terminate its LCD contract with Apple.
Monday's report from the Korea Times is one of several that have questioned Samsung's component-supplier relationship with Apple. In September, a wave of reports suggested Apple was starting to scale back its chip orders from Samsung, which traditionally has been a primary manufacturer of the A-series chips used in Apple's iPhone and iPad. It was reported that Apple was, instead, starting to fulfill its NAND and DRAM memory orders from rival chip makers Toshiba and Elpida Memory.
A report from Reuters, citing anonymous industry sources, suggested Apple's decision to decrease its reliance on Samsung for chips resulted not from the two companies' legal woes, but instead represented a larger aim on Apple's part to diversify its global supply chain.
Apple and Samsung have been waging a messy legal battle for over a year, sparked by Apple's original accusations in April 2011 that Samsung had infringed on design patents for the iPhone and iPad when creating its own Android-based Galaxy smartphones and tablets. In August, Samsung was found guilty of infringement in the U.S. District Court, and was ordered to pay Apple over $1 billion in damages.
The two companies are expected to return to court in December to pursue potential U.S. bans on a number of each other's mobile devices.
PUBLISHED OCT. 23, 2012