Apple drops Samsung as MacBook, iPad battery supplier: report

Apple drops Samsung as MacBook, iPad battery supplier: report

Summary: As the patent war between continues, Apple looks to cut Samsung from the lucrative Mac and iOS-based supply chain by turning to new suppliers for batteries.


As the legal battle -- not to mention the war of words -- worsens between technology giants Apple and Samsung, it seems that the Cupertino, Calif.-based firm is working to distance itself from its Korean rival by switching its suppliers for iPad and MacBook batteries. 

According to a report in Chinese Business News, Apple is now looking to Amperex Technology Limited and Tianjin Lishen Battery, further cutting Samsung out of the lucrative iOS-based and Mac supply chain. Apple has already turned to alternative suppliers to provide displays and flash memory for devices.

As buyers -- consumers and enterprise alike -- make the shift from fixed desktop systems to mobile devices such as notebooks, smartphones, and tablets, this has meant a boom time for battery manufacturers.

One set of components that Apple continues to rely on Samsung for is the A-series processors found at the heart of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. While Apple designs the A-series processors in-house, the heavy manufacturing work is carried out by Samsung.

Earlier this month a report emerged claiming that Samsung had hiked the price of A-series processors by as much as 20 percent. However, a subsequent report dismissed this suggestion, saying that prices are set at the beginning of the year.

See alsoiPad mini: The teardown

According to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, a 20 percent increase in processor prices would have hit Apple's gross margins by about 1 to 2 percent.

Samsung and Apple have spent over 18 months engaged in vicious patent battle extending across four continents since April 2011. In August, a court awarded Apple over $1 billion in damages after upholding claims that Samsung had infringing several iPhone and iPad patents with its Galaxy S-series smartphones. Samsung has since appealed against the ruling.

But things haven't all been going Apple's way, with courts in the Netherlands, the U.K. and Japan dismissing Apple's claims of infringement by Samsung.

Earlier this month market research firm Strategy Analytics released a report suggesting that Samsung's Galaxy S III had ousted Apple's iPhone 4S as best-selling smartphone.

Image source: iFixit.

Topics: Apple, iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Smartphones, Tablets

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  • Hmm

    This worked so well with the maps thing.
  • The sooner Apple dumps suppliers

    suppliers and google-like allies that are so willing to screw them the better.
    • At what cost though?

      At some point the ties being cut are causing problems for users.

      The supply chain is already suffering (as is quality). The rush job on maps and siri, dumping youtube, etc.

      Apple is playing a dangerous game burning so many bridges, be it an app or an internal part. They are not making these choices based on matters of quality, but as a matter of trying to gain complete control over everything.

      That is a tall order for a company that outsources so much of its work.
      • a tall order

        Yep, it's a tall order. But, now is the perfect time for Apple to do this -- especially as they discovered they cannot trust their suppliers, most notably Samsung and Google.

        Apple are moving at very high speed. When you move fast, you can literally fly over bumps.
        If the end result is good, nobody will even remember that Apple dumped Samsung and Google.

        Those two companies are at fault here and were stupid enough to lose this huge revenue by attempting to hijack Apple's products. Google lost virtually all iOS mapping data (few hundred million devices) and Samsung's manufacturing arm lost probably their biggest customer. In the Samsung's case, that happened because of the arrogance of their mobile devices arm. No idea if their math turns positive -- but what they will lose most is the loss of insight into what Apple does.

        I believe next year we will definitely see Apple moving the CPU manufacturing somewhere else, too.
        • I'm sure there is more to blame here than just Samsung/Google.

          Why can't Apple trust their suppliers? Did Samsung delivery defective products or miss their delivery dates. Did Google maps or youtube not work well enough to be included, because Apples new "suppliers" seem to be failing at that.

          This certainly isn't the one sided problem that you make it out to be, but you are free to your opinion as anyone else is.

          For example: Where you say Google lost access to millions of iOS users, others (iOS users) see Apple replacing a perfectly functional Google maps with a product that had quality issues so large the CEO had to make a public apology.

          That doesn't exactly seem like the best time to switch suppliers as you think it is.

          Time will tell if these self serving moves are a real benefit for anyone but Apple. So far they don't seem to be a real benefit for Apples users. Imagine what happens when Apple decides they want to do web searching to further put Google out of the market.
          • Boy! Have you been living under a rock?

            Wow! "Why can't Apple trust their suppliers?" Are you serious!? Samsung has violated scores of Apple patents. They took the base Android gui and enhanced it by copying scores of Apple GUI elements. Although, Apple only sued over a small subset, one of the documents Apple submitted at trial was an internal Samsung document that spanned 132 pages showing all the features that Samsung copied ( from Apple. There were also scores of emails by top Samsung executives discussing how closely they could copy without winding up in court which is what happened any way. Even Google (when shown Samsung prototypes before release) warned Samsung that they risked being sued over the blatant copying of the IOS UI. Samsung chose to ignore them to their peril.

            Stop believing the propaganda the tech media and Samsung put out about Apple. The suit Apple has against Samsung is about WAY more than "rounded corners". Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But, not their own facts. Given Samsung's behavior, why would ANY company give BILLIONS of dollars in business when the same company is competing against you! Apple isn't stupid. They're not going to drop Samsung unless the new supplier can provide the same quality at the same or cheaper price.

            As for Google, Android maps have had turn-by-turn navigation for quite a while now. They purposely held those advanced features back from the IOS version. How can having a sub-standard Maps application be considered "perfectly functional". Since Google was not giving IOS users the same maps experience as Android users, Apple rightly decided to take matters into their own hands. As far as accuracy issues, Google Maps isn't perfect either. I've used the new Maps app daily to visit up to five new clients a day and I have yet had Maps lead me wrong. Even Consumer Reports which has no love for Apple rated the Maps app as fairly good. Not nearly as bad as everyone is making it to be.

            I believe Apple is doing the right thing here. Apple needs to control the experience for what is become a prime function of a smartphone (GPS turn by turn navigation).
            As for the Youtube app, you can still download it from the App Store. Google had a contract to get prime placement as a default app on the iphone. That contract has since expired and was not renewed. Simple as that.
            Fernando Lozano
          • Perhaps you are overdoing things just a little bit?

            You may not have noticed, but Apples patent claims are getting tossed out of courts all over the world except one place... California. Even there the procedures and verdict are being picked apart and invalidated. For example the USPTO invalidated some of Apples patents that Samsung was found guilty of stealing. Only in the USA can someone be found guilty before a patent is proven valid.


            Lets not forget Apple is currently getting their butt kicked in a few cases where they have flat out stole other parties intellectual properties. You know what they say about glass houses and stone throwing.

            The point about suppliers I was making is that Samsung was a reliable supplier for Apple, while the suppliers Apple is trying to replace Samsung with have been suffering supply problems. Does Apple cutting off business with Samsung have any effect on Samsungs ability to copy Apple? No it doesn't.

            All Apple is doing with their war is causing problems and delays for their customers and shareholders. To which I disagree with the timing to replace Samsung being good. It doesn't solve a supply problem nor create a better experience for their customers. Furthermore, Samsung has made real quality parts for Apple and it remains to be seen if the Chinese companies will be able to effectively replace that.

            I'm not sure why you blame Google for Apples lack of turn by turn navigation. Google offered to supply Apple with that, feature but Apple refused to enter into a contract agreement for the service. Apple made the choice to not obtain that service from Google and instead rush their own map app out..... for which TIM COOK apologized for the lack of quality. That is a significant departure from Apples "it just works" mantra. If turn by turn GPS was such a prime feature for a phone then Apple should have put their customers needs above their spat with Google.

            This is typically where someone tries to blame Google for somehow being at fault, but remember it was Apple that declared it was going to war with Google, not the other way around. Unfortunately this war is having an impact on Apple customers If you want to admit that or not.
        • Huh?

          RE: "Apple are moving at very high speed. When you move fast, you can literally fly over bumps."

          Yes, and I'm sure you've seen cars crash and burn on the freeways. It's never a pretty sight.
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  • Headline is backwards

    According to the cited source and pretty much everyone else covering this story other than the self-admitted CultOfMac site, it was Samsung who stopped supplying Apple, not that Apple chose to stop buying from Samsung.
    • Samsung stopped supplied Apple

      Wy would Samsung do that? They got so much money, so they decided their income is enough and can offer their employees vacation? No sane manufacturer ditches a customer, especially a customer like Apple, that pays up-front huge amounts of cash.
      • Easy

        You don't supply the person who is suing you.

        And Samsung is a big supplier for Apple.
        Michael Alan Goff
    • I guess you are one of the dumb people who

      ... who believed the complete BS story posted by some no-name blogger and regurgitated by other no-name bloggers.

      Here is what idiots fail to understand. CONTRACTS ARE PROTECTED BY LAW. Samsung can not cut off anybody who is paying on-time and has a long term contract. If they do, that company (regardless of who they are) can turn around and sue them for thousands of times the value of the contract ... and they will win in any court around the world.

      I know it is hard to understand ... because of lack of basic education. But the world does not run around your ignorance and fanboyism.
  • At this point, anything is possible.

    Some things to consider. Apple/Jobs declared "thermonuclear war" and it looks like everyone is willing to take off the kid gloves in this fight.

    Consider the following:

    1) Both Apple and Samsung are seeing large growth in mobile device sales.
    2) Samsung is outselling Apple in mobile devices right now.
    3) Demand for mobile device parts is or may be outpacing supply.

    Now ask yourself, if you were a parts manufacturer and one of your customers was trying to put your out of business, would you continue to work with them? Especially if there might be a shortage of parts to manufacturer your devices and theirs?

    I'm not saying Samsung is cutting ties, but I would understand if there did.
  • Nice blog!

    Very nice blog on the two mobile expert companies. Seems the whole Apple - Samsung story has been well analyzed by you.

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