It appears that the bad blood between Apple and Samsung isn’t enough to keep the two from working together. Despite previous reports that the iPad-maker is trying to distance itself from its rival, it has reportedly returned a large chunk of its LCD panel business back to Samsung…
“The Korean thin glass market is turning around thanks to Apple resuming its LCD purchase from Samsung Display. The thin glass companies showed a clear sign of turn-around in the second quarter. The thin glass sales of four major companies, Soulbrain, Chemtronics, Global Display, and Avatec, this year is expected to reach KRW 534 billion, which is about 34% greater, year-on-year.”
The industry believes that one of the reasons Apple has decided to come back to Samsung Display is because of its ability to get its hands on thin glass. Thin glass is a major component used in LCD displays that can be found in mobile devices—Apple uses them in its iPhones and iPads.
Other than that, the report was extremely light on details, so it’s difficult to say whether Apple is only sourcing LCDs from Samsung until it can find another capable supplier, or if the newly-struck supplier relationship with the Korean tech giant is something longer term.
Of course, the two companies used to be extremely close supply chain partners before the court battles began. Apple filed a lawsuit against Samsung in April of 2011 for infringing on its product designs and patents. That fight has since spawned ongoing litigation on multiple continents.