In line with the rumored release of Apple’s so-called iPad Mini, there were reports that the company is reducing its iPad screen shipments from Samsung in favor of Sharp and LG. This move reflects the Cupertino-based company’s action to lessen its dependence upon its increasing “frenemies.”
A New iPad and New Suppliers
As reported by DigiTimes last Thursday, Apple is planning to a launch a redesigned iPad, although this news is not well supported. The Taiwanese tech site also claimed that the iPad panel shipments will fluctuate during this quarter, ending in September.
However, the delivery will still be a bit higher than the previous quarter. According to Taiwan-based supply chain makers, a total of 19.5 million panels for the iPad 2 and new iPad will be delivered in the third quarter of this year.
As Apple is revising the new iPad and plans to launch a new version of iPad, the vendor is expected to adjust inventory level of iPad panels, with shipments decreasing in July and August and then increasing in September.
In relation to this, the company would be decreasing a part of its total shipments from Samsung Electronics and would increase the portion of Sharp and LG’s delivery. However, this move does not necessarily mirror Apple’s retaliation against its refusal to negotiate patent claims against the South Korean tech giant.
There were also reports that the company is moving away from a-Si TFT screens in favor of Sharp’s oxide TFT panels for the iPad. In addition, Apple has allegedly worked to expand its relationship with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, in an attempt to reduce its dependence on Samsung with regard to ARM CPUs. It was also said that the company is already scouting for alternative RAM suppliers.
Samsung: A New Addition to Apple’s List of Frenemies
As of the moment, Samsung remains a critical component supplier for Apple, which makes it a new addition to the iPad maker’s list of frenemies. The list also includes Microsoft and Google.
Apple is also known for pitting its frenemies against each other, like teaming up with Google to develop the WebKit browser against Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. On the other hand, the company worked with Microsoft’s Bing as an alternative option to Google web search in Safari.
Recently, the iPad maker has rolled out its alternative to the products it once depended upon from its various frenemies. This includes iWork and Safari against Microsoft’s Office and Internet Explorer components, as well as the development of Siri and the new iOS Maps to ditch Google’s Android platform.