Apple cuts Samsung memory chip order in reliance shift: report

Apple cuts Samsung memory chip order in reliance shift: report

Summary: Apple, despite its courtroom tussles and bitter rivalry with Samsung, relies on the firm for chips and components. A Reuters report suggests that Apple's reliance on Samsung isn't as strong as previously thought.


Apple has reportedly reduced its memory chip orders from Samsung for the forthcoming next-generation iPhone, a key component supplier to the Cupertino, CA.-based company, in a bid to diversify its lines of supply and reduce its reliance on Samsung.

Inside the iPhone 4S. Credit: CNET

First reported by Reuters, citing a person with direct knowledge of the matter, Samsung remains on the list of initiall suppliers for the soon-to-be-released iPhone 5, pegged for a September 12 announcement.

The source, speaking anonymously, denied that the relationship shift was due to the patent-related courtroom battles between the two companies, which reached critical mass last month after Samsung was told to pay Apple more than $1 billion in damages for infringing the iPhone and iPad maker's patents. 

Samsung remains the world's largest memory chip supplier by revenue, makes DRAM memory and NAND flash memory chips for the iPhone, iPad and iPod, but could be sidelined in favor of Japan-based Toshiba, Elipida Memory, and South Korea-based SK Hynix to supply memory and flash chips, which Apple is eyeing for the long-term. 

"Orders to SK Hynix for both mobile DRAM and NAND flash memory chips from Apple have risen in recent months," according to one source speaking to the Wall Street Journal.

The chipmaker and technology giant is making up for the reduced order -- thought to be around a quarter of all components in Apple's iPhone and iPad -- from other device makers and manufacturers. 

Earlier this year, Apple tried to secure exclusivity to a major Taiwan-based semiconductor firm by investing $1 billion in the chipmaker, but reportedly rejected Apple's bid.

However, Apple later acquired Anobit, an Israeli startup that makes flash memory chips for the iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air for around $400--500 million, one of Apple's largest acquisitions to date. The move was thought to be a bid to wean the technology giant off third-parties for vital hardware components.

Topics: Apple, Samsung, Smartphones, Tech Industry

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  • Let's move on.

    The mean streak of Steve Jobs is alive and well at Apple. But it has no place in business anymore than it does in government.
    Time to turn a new page and spend all that wasted energy on innovation and cooperation. No company exists in a vacuum -- not even a big one. And it won't stay big if it keeps fighting with everybody else.
    Time to turn a new page. Steve is gone and his vendettas should go as well. There is no place for them in business -- anymore than for pride itself.
    Let’s move on. Life is too short to be wasted this way.
  • Samsung was never majority supplier of RAM or flash memory anyway

    Samsung was always big supplier, but not majority one. So there is no much news here.
    • Really? I had heard differently

      I heard that Samsung was where Apple got the majority of their RAM and flash memory from.
      William Farrel
      • No, because there always were two other suppliers for both memory and flash

        So lets not confuse Samsung being biggest supplier -- it was -- and majority supplier -- it never was.
  • I'm not familiar with SK Hynix

    their components any good? or are we about to see a dip in iProduct quality?
    • Hynix makes a lot of OEM RAM sticks....

      ... a large number of systems that my family have bought over the years have Hynix RAM in them, and I've never had any complaints about it. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if different brands of RAM use Hynix chips and we just don't know about it because it's relabeled for every brand name.
  • apple is irrelevant

    like that dead guy steve jobs apple is irrelevant and Samsung does NOT need apple, and should immediately stop all production of all products for any of apple's iCrappy iToys.
    • Except that Apple is still a significant revenue source for Samsung.

      Just sayin', kid.