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Samsung kicking Apple to curb for LCD panels, report says

The Korea Times says Samsung will replace the lost Apple business with more display orders from Samsung's handset business and Amazon.

Apple reportedly will have to replace Samsung as its LCD panel supplier.
Updated at 6:30 p.m. PT with Samsung denial.

Samsung's display business plans to end its LCD panel supply agreement with Apple as of 2013, the Korea Times is reporting.

The publication, citing an unnamed senior Samsung source, said Samsung is taking the step because it "believes its American partner is no longer a cash-generator due to the iPhone maker's stiffer supply-chain management structure." Basically, Samsung isn't making as much from Apple's display purchases as it did in the past.

Samsung expects to replace the lost Apple business with orders from Samsung's handset division and from Amazon for tablets, the Korea Times said.

Samsung later denied the report in a statement to CNET.

While the publication cited financial concerns as the basis for Samsung's move, the strained relationship between the two companies likely has something to do with it. Apple and Samsung have been suing each other seemingly nonstop, with each accusing the other of ripping off its designs.

At issue is control of the booming smartphone and tablet markets, areas that are vital for continued growth at electronics makers.

Apple, which previously relied on Samsung to supply many components for its products, has been reducing its reliance on the company. The Cupertino, Calif., company has been sourcing displays from companies like Sharp and LG, and it reportedly plans to have its chips manufactured by a company other than Samsung.

Samsung Display was the top panel supplier to Apple as of the end of the first six months of this year, shipping over 15 million LCDs, followed by its biggest rival LG Display with 12.5 million and Japan's Sharp with 2.8 million, the Korea Times said, citing market research firm DisplaySearch.

We've contacted Apple and will update this report when it responds.

Updated at 6:30 p.m. PT with comments from Samsung and link to follow-up story.