​Samsung creates team to cater to Apple's every display whim

Samsung gears up its display business to become a more dedicated supplier to the iPhone maker.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer on

Apple may have hit Samsung's bottom line in smartphones, but the Korean electronics giant is only too happy to work with its rival when it comes to components.

Samsung has reportedly created a secret team of 200 staff dedicated to producing screens just for Apple to use in its iPads and MacBooks, unnamed sources told Bloomberg. According to the report, the team was formed on April 1 and helps with sales.

Samsung declined to comment on the report but said in a statement to ZDNet that it split its LCD and OLED divisions at the start of the month.

"Samsung Display was established as a manufacturing company in 2012 and is operated independently from Samsung Electronics. On April 1, a restructuring was initiated to strengthen "Responsibility Management System". As a result, we now have LCD and OLED divisions. But we cannot disclose any specific organization status and management direction," the statement said.

Details of the dedicated Apple display team follow reports earlier this month from Korea that Samsung Display had established a taskforce to win deals with Apple to supply LCD and flexible OLED displays.

Bloomberg reported that Samsung is relying more heavily on its semiconductor and display businesses after a year of falling profits from its smartphone business.

According to analysts Strategy Analytics, Apple's iPhones accounted for 89 percent of all smartphone profits worldwide during the fourth quarter of 2014, leaving Android OEMs to scrap for the remaining 11 percent, down from 29 percent the year before. Most of the decline in Android OEMs' profit share was due to Samsung.

Apple was one of Samsung's top five sources of revenue for 2013 and 2014, according to the company's annual filings. Until last year Samsung exclusively supplied Apple with chips for the iPhone and iPad, however it was replaced by TSMC for devices released this year.

However, according to earlier reports, it appears Samsung will return to the fold, manufacturing Apple's A9 chips, scheduled for use in the next iPhone. According to Bloomberg, Samsung will make them at its Giheung plant in South Korea. Samsung was also said to be making chips for Apple's Watch.

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