Apple leans on Samsung for iPad displays, says researcher

Don't think for a minute that Apple is becoming less dependent yet on Samsung for some key components in 2014.

9.7-inch iPad with Retina display. Samsung became the largest display supplier to Apple in the first quarter, according to DisplaySearch Apple

Apple just can't seem to shake Samsung.

Despite the two companies' bitter legal battles, Samsung became the largest supplier of iPad displays in the first quarter, according to DisplaySearch.

The market researcher said Samsung Display reclaimed its position as the top iPad display panel supplier, shipping 5.2 million units of 9.7-inch panels with a resolution of 2,048x1,536, accounting for 62 percent of total shipments of that display size and resolution, according to a report from BrightWire News, which cited a ZDNet Asia (Korean language) report.

The displays with those specifications are used by Apple for the iPad Air and iPad with Retina display.

LG Display, also a major display supplier to Apple, saw its share of that display size/resolution plunge to 38 percent in the first quarter from about 61 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Apple said that sales of iPads declined 15.9 percent when it reported its second quarter results on April 23.

It should be also noted that Samsung is not out of the running as a future purveyor of processors to Apple, despite Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's (TSMC's) expected participation as a supplier to Apple of the next-generation A series processor.

Apple could still source the next-gen so-called A8 processor from Samsung as well as processors beyond the A8, according to VLSI Research.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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