Apple has however, reduced its dependencies on Samsung’s displays for its iPhone model
The heightened brawl between the two tech giants Samsung and Apple is not a new news. But what can send tech users in a tizzy is the development about Apple’s ‘indirect’ association with Samsung. Apple’s new iPad mini reportedly comprises a display from Samsung Electronics, which besides being a key supplier is also the Silicon Valley tech giant’s fiercest rival in a global mobile-device war.
According to reports, the iPad mini will be available in stores from Friday onwards. The new mini iPad includes Apple’s A5 processor, SK Hynix Inc flash memory, a Broadcom touch controller and a number of chips from Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc.
“Though the markings on the back of the LCD (display) don’t turn up much information, the Samsung display driver (chip) reveals that Apple once again went with Samsung in its display manufacturing,” US-based electronics repair company iFixit was quoted as saying.
For a long time now, Apple and Samsung are engaged in patent disputes across several countries as they vie for market share in the booming mobile industry, and Apple is said to be seeking ways to rely less on Samsung. But, call it a constraint or anything, Samsung remains a key supplier for Apple, manufacturing its application processors and providing other components.
The (20.06-cm) 7.9-inch iPad mini highlights the iPhone-maker’s debut into the smaller-tablet segment. Apple is hopeful of striking back incursions against its rivals by popular 7-inch slates, while safeguarding its lead in a larger tablet space – one that even deep-pocketed rivals like Samsung have found tough to penetrate. On the other hand, Samsung has ceased supplying displays for Apple’s iPhone, and does have a reduced role in the iPad panel, according to DisplaySearch.
Apple is also buying fewer memory chips from Samsung for the iPhone 5, relying more on SK Hynix Inc and Elpida Memory, according to a Financial Review report. Several analysts also believe Apple will gradually phase out Samsung as the main supplier of the mobile micro-processor, essentially the brains of its mobile devices, and shift to rival supplier TSMC.
Priced at $329 for a Wi-Fi only model, the iPad mini is more expensive than what many consumers and analysts were expecting. Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Google’s Nexus 7, both unveiled at competitive $199 price point, are slowly acquiring some considerable part of the small-size tablet market.