Quality issues reportedly prompt Apple to cozy up to Samsung for iPad screens

By , Aug 7, 2013

iPad mini (flat, finger)

It’s no secret Apple’s been working around the clock to decrease its reliance on Samsung for components. I’m also sure you know the two frenemies have been entangled in a complicated web of lawsuits the world over for two years. Now, various market repots have indicated Apple months ago showed Samsung the door by introducing other mobile display makers to the iPad supply chain, namely LG Display and Sharp.

In an interesting reversal, research firm NPD DisplaySearch said Wednesday it believed Samsung actually gained on the iPad screen supplier LG Display because Apple in April and June reportedly sourced more 9.7-inch iPad panels from LG Display than from Samsung…

CNET spoke to DisplaySearch:

Apple, in fact, has been boosting purchases of displays from Samsung since January, according to the market analyst.

Apple got about 2.3 million units from Samsung in the first quarter.

That figure jumped about 80 percent quarter-to-quarter to more than 4.1 million units in the second quarter, according to DisplaySearch.

“The report cited an industry official, who claimed that Apple is having problems procuring displays from suppliers such as Sharp and AU Optronics,” CNET added.

The story goes on to note that Samsung will begin supplying 7.9-inch panels for the upcoming iPad mini update “in the second half of 2013,” with LG Display and Japan Display also expected to supply iPad mini panels.

However, it’s unclear whether those iPad mini panels are Retina or the regular 1,024-by-768 pixel ones. Worse, the rumor-mill has been largely undecided as to whether there will be a Retina iPad mini this year or if a minor CPU bump (and a slight price decrease) is to be expected until a Retina variant is ready in March or April 2014.

For what it’s worth, NPD DisplaySearch said as far back as last December that Apple stopped sourcing 7.9-inch 1,204-by-768 pixel panels for the iPad mini from Samsung.

Last August and September, if DigiTimes is to be trusted, LG Display became the primary supplier of Retina iPad panels. As for the iPad mini, another report DigiTimes filed in December 2012 asserted that the majority of 7.9-inch iPad mini panels were actually being made by LG Display back then, rather than Samsung.

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  • queen_ir3ne

    At the end of the day, they need one another.

    • Tony

      Not really. Apple needs Samsung a whole lot more than Samsung needs Apple.

      • queen_ir3ne

        Yea, yea same thing. -__-

      • felixtaf

        Not true… Samsung lost 5% of their total profit (Billions), when Apple switched to other companies… They may not need Apple to survive, but Apple was and is their big customer…

      • Kurt

        Actually, it is true. Samsung needs apple less. you more or less said he’s statement isn’t tue then you restated his statement :-p

        I’m just happy that the iPad 5 might have a samsung screen. My wife’s 4S is LG, its darker, more yellow. Mine is a Samsung and is bright and white.

  • n0ahcruz3

    Apple needs samsung, Samsung doesnt need apple. But its all business at the end. Have you heard the new chip developed by samsung that could expand memory for smartphones up to 384 GB? No rose colored glasses here folks.

  • Mohammed Sahib

    Actually I have a terrible experience with LG display on my iPad 2. In under 1 year, it lost color saturation and is showing terrible image retention. Unlucky Retina MBP owners who got an LG display have flooded the forums with complaints of image retention as well. Only those who got a replacement with a Samsung display were satisfied. End line: LG screens have more issues than Samsung’s. If it wasn’t Sharp’s IGZO, then I am happy to have a Sammy screen on my next iPad.

  • Kurt

    Remember the article on IDB that stated Apple will no longer use Samung screens and that idiot fanboys got all happy about it. Why be happy about having an inferior screen. Again, idiots.

  • Gorgonphone

    sooo sad