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Apple cuts Samsung memory orders for iPhone

Apple has reduced its memory orders from Samsung following the $1bn court case between the two.

Apple has reduced its orders for mobile phone memory chips from Samsung, its arch rival, following the $1bn court case between the two.

The Californian company is tapping up Toshiba, Elpida Memory, and Korea's SK Hynix to provide more chips in place of Samsung's, Reuters reports.

Though it hasn't cut off Samsung altogether. "Samsung is still in the list of initial memory chip suppliers (for new iPhones)," a source told Reuters. "But Apple orders have been trending down and Samsung is making up for the reduced order from others, notably Samsung's handset business."

The source denied it was anything to do with the patent court case that's seen the two fighting tooth and nail for months. Rather, Apple had been looking to widen its supply chain. Hmm. Admittedly earlier this year a source told Reuters that Elpida was selling more than half of its mobile DRAM chips to Apple. But still, the timing seems more than just a coincidence to me. 

It was a strange situation, Apple and Samsung furiously battling it out in court over patent disputes, when Samsung was continuing to act as a major supplier for Apple. So I suppose it was inevitable. Maybe the bigger question is why hasn't Apple cut off Samsung altogether? Though the inevitable surge in demand following the upcoming iPhone 5 launch could have something to do with it.

I'm sure Samsung will manage. It's shipped 20 million Galaxy S3 handsets in just 100 days. Though it could see some devices banned, if Apple has its way. Following the $1bn payout, the two companies will sit down on 20 September, and we'll see which -- if any -- of Samsung's devices will be banned from sale. There really is no love lost between these two.

Should Apple give Samsung the heave-ho altogether? Is it hypocritical to carry on using it as a supplier while trying to have its devices banned? Let me know in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.