updated 03:25 pm EDT, Thu September 30, 2010
Apple rumored hurting Samsung AMOLED phone stock
A tentative rumor today asserts that Apple has been buying Samsung's AMOLED display supply in a move that would trigger a part switch for Samsung's own phones. Well-known Russian leaker Eldar Murtazin claimed that Apple had bought virtually all of Samsung's Super AMOLED stock for 2011, leaving it with no choice but to switch to LCD for the Galaxy S and Wave. The Korean company is fulfilling carrier contract orders but has allegedly stopped retail deliveries from December onwards.
It's unclear whether any shift would also affect Samsung's Windows Phone 7 devices, like the Cetus.
What Apple would do with AMOLED displays isn't evident. All its current devices use LCD, and it so far hasn't had to switch to AMOLED as it has beaten Samsung in display quality tests. Large AMOLEDs are also typically very expensive and would be unlikely to ship with an iPad or anything larger. Its production levels also continue to be low enough that it might not suit the production numbers needed for anything but a niche product.
Murtazin was careful to warn that it was "just a rumour" and didn't have confirmation of its accuracy.
Regardless of Apple's involvement, Samsung is known to have had chronic AMOLED shortages for much of the year that may only worsen over time. The Galaxy S and Wave combined have constrained AMOLED stocks to where HTC was forced to switch to LCD. Until it did, phones like the Desire, Droid Incredible and Legend were often backordered by as much as a month, owing more to shortages than to actual demand. The Galaxy S has been a strong seller for Samsung and might have created its own problem by leaving the company with more orders than it can fulfill.
Neither Apple nor Samsung has commented on the claims.