Apple Cuts Dependence on Samsung for Parts

Apple is turning to other suppliers to replace Samsung Electronics for semiconductor components in its new iPhone, which is expected to be unveiled next Wednesday.

Apple has been Samsung's biggest customer, buying parts worth about W10 trillion (US$1=W1,135) from its Korean rival last year. But amid a worldwide patent battle between the two, Apple has been reducing its dependence on Samsung and turned to other chipmakers in China, Japan and Taiwan.

Industry insiders say Apple placed no order with Samsung for the memory chips needed for an early shipment of the new iPhone, which would amount to several million phones. But it did place orders with SK Hynix and Elpida for mobile DRAM chips and with SK Hynix and Toshiba for NAND flash chips, according to news reports.

Until recently, Samsung supplied Apple with about 30 percent of NAND flash and mobile DRAM chips for iPhones.

As for LCD screens, Apple has also passed on Samsung products since it rolled out of the iPhone 4 in 2010. But the California-based firm will keep using Samsung application processors, which are key components that act as the "brain" of smartphones.

Insiders say Apple stopped buying products from Samsung to put the brakes on its rapid growth in the smartphone market.

englishnews@chosun.com / Sep. 07, 2012 10:43 KST