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Report: Samsung withdraws as Apple's battery supplier

updated 11:00 pm EST, Fri November 23, 2012

Two other Chinese firms step up to fill in on iPad, MacBook batteries

A report in China Business News claims that Samsung SDI, the company's battery-producing subsidiary, has decided to withdraw from selling batteries to Apple, possibly in retaliation for various moves the iPad maker has made to reduce its dependence on Samsung as a supplier. Two other Chinese firms, Tianjin Lishen Battery and Amperex Technology, are said to be filling in for Samsung's absence in the iPad and MacBook lines of batteries, which Samsung SDI formerly supplied.

Stories of various retaliatory measures between Samsung and Apple have appeared, most often in Chinese business publications, but at present there is little evidence that any of the stories are true thus far, even in the most recent Apple products. It would certainly make sense for Apple to withdraw as much business as possible from Samsung, but there are few others that can manufacture parts of the quality and quantity Apple requires for its enormously popular iOS and Mac products.

This latest leak has not yet been denied by Samsung, though it did deny that it was raising prices on Apple for processors by 20 percent, and that it had terminated the contract with Apple for displays in the iPad and other products. Given the source, it is also possible that Apple was the instigator of the change in battery suppliers, with Samsung trying to get ahead of the story by claiming it "wasn't fired, but quit" even though the idea of Samsung being willing giving up a lucrative component contract -- even to a rival like Apple -- lacks credibility.

Time will tell if Apple has or will actually change suppliers -- though Apple has a history of keeping more than one supplier available as needed for as many parts as possible. The company has been seen to be grooming Taiwan Seminconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to supply Apple with various types of chips from power regulators to full-blown processors.

One of the clearest moves away from Samsung, which Apple has repeatedly accused (and prevailed repeatedly in court) of "slavish" copying and patent infringement was to remove Samsung from all aspects of chip designing and design components on its A-series chips, though it still uses Samsung to manufacture the processors. Apple has also been known to be diversifying its display suppliers and other part vendors, though this could simply be a good business practice rather than any sort of retaliatory measure.

Pundits have portrayed Apple as slowly disentangling itself from its relationship with Samsung, but for its part Apple has always called the South Korean company an "important supplier" and, at least for now, it continues to be one of Apple's main partners on the component level, even as the two companies' relationship has grown more strained and litigious.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Situation's bittersweet.

  1. Zanziboy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-27-08

    This is not really bad news for either party. Apple needs to give its revenue to companies other than its biggest competitor. Meanwhile, Samsung is likely facing tight supplies of batteries for its own products. Therefore, it is in Samsung's best interest to reduce sales to outside firms.

  1. lkrupp

    Junior Member

    Joined: 05-13-01

    This article even admits the "report" is probably wrong and the source is clearly unreliable. Yet the first two posts responding to it accept it as fact, hook-line-and-sinker. This whole Apple vs Samsung thing is great click-bait and fodder for the iHaters and iFans and web sites are cleaning up on advertising revenue because of it. Publish an Apple/Samsung story and the page clicks come rolling in like the tide at full moon. There's a sucker born every minute. :thumbsdow

  1. And.reg

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 02-22-04

    Another article: http://techcrunch.com/2012/11/23/apple-reportedly-changes-battery-suppliers-as-samsung-walks/

    Apple has other suppliers. I bet in a week I'll read something like "Samsung no longer supplying..." and I won't care.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Originally Posted by AndrejView Post

    Another article: http://techcrunch.com/2012/11/23/apple-reportedly-changes-battery-suppliers-as-samsung-walks/
    Apple has other suppliers. I bet in a week I'll read something like "Samsung no longer supplying..." and I won't care.

    So then why post here?

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    You're one to ask...

  1. sgs123

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-24-05

    Stories of various retaliatory measures between Samsung and Apple have appeared, most often in Chinese business publications, but at present there is little evidence that any of the stories are true thus far, even in the most recent Apple products


    In other words, "Chinese business publications are pushing rumors of Chinese business beating out a large Korean competitor for Apple's business."

    That makes sense to me.

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