Categories: MacMobilityWorkspace

Apple Reduces Samsung Memory Chip Order For iPhone 5

Apple is reportedly reducing its order of memory chips for the iPhone 5 from Samsung, its main supplier and competitor.

A source told Reuters that the decision was based on Apple’s desire to diversify its supplier base rather than as a result of increased tensions between the two companies, who are engaged in a worldwide mobile patent war.

Samsung is a key supplier of components to Apple and provides it with microprocessors, flat screens and both dynamic random access (DRAM) chips and NAND memory chips for its mobile devices.

A chip on Apple’s shoulder?

It had been reported in the Korean media that Apple was to withdraw its order entirely. However, Samsung will remain on a list of Apple suppliers that also includes Toshiba, Epida Memory and Korea’s SK Hynix.

Samsung sold Apple £3.7 billion worth of NAND chips in 2010 and remains the sole producer of the Apple-designed microchips that power the iPhone and iPad, meaning that neither party is likely to want to jeopardise their relationship.

Last month, an American court ordered Samsung to pay Apple £664 million in damages for infringing the Cupertino-based company’s mobile design and software patents. Apple is seeking a ban on eight Samsung mobile devices and has widened its lawsuit to include newer products like the recently-launched Samsung Galaxy S III.

Apple has all but confirmed that it is going to announce the iPhone 5 next week after it began sending out invitations to a press event in San Francisco on 12 September. It is expected to feature a larger screen, support for 4G networks and Near Field Communication.

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Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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