A newspaper report yesterday by a South Korean media outlet spread like a wildfire across the blogosphere. It has been asserted that Samsung, Apple’s fierce rival in mobile and its major supplier of components, will cease selling displays to the Cupertino, California iPhone maker, reportedly because Samsung’s components arm dubbed Samsung Display no longer sees Apple as “a cash-generator due to the iPhone maker’s stiffer supply-chain management structure”. Now it appears Samsung has basically denied the story and asked The Korea Times newspaper to revise its false report…
According to the original story, an unnamed senior executive said Samsung is no longer able to supply its flat-screens to Apple with huge price discounts. To make up for the lost business, both Samsung’s own handset unit and Amazon are upping their orders from Samsung Display, the story had it.
Samsung has already cut our portion of shipments to Apple and next year we will stop shipping displays. Although we are losing Apple business, Samsung looks safe as we found the right alternatives — Amazon and Samsung Electronics’ handset division.
According to CNET, a Samsung spokesman has refuted the story.
Samsung Display has never tried to cut the supply for LCD panels to Apple.
Maybe such turn of evens is a gesture of goodwill towards Apple following today’s news that the United States Patent & Trademark Office has decided to invalidate Apple’s rubber-banding patent the company successfully asserted against Samsung, but also HTC and Motorola.
Be that as it may, Samsung’s refutal paints the original story as 100 percent inaccurate.
It’s not terribly surprising.
The Korea Times is pro-Samsung and often times publishes biased articles that openly favor the South Korean conglomerate. The Apple account is worth an estimated 8.8 percent of Samsung’s revenue and the company would be shooting itself in the foot by turning its back on its leading buyer of components for consumer electronics.
That’s not to say, however, that Apple isn’t actively seeking alternative suppliers and working on cutting its ties to the Galaxy maker.
On a somewhat related note, The Korea Times also reported today that Apple fired Dominique Oh, the head of the Korean unit after only 17 months on the job, apparently due to Apple’s poor performance in the Korean market.