Apple drops Samsung as MacBook, iPad battery supplier: report

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.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributing Writer

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.

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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.

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