SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 18: The Apple logo is displayed on the exterior of an Apple retail store on January 18, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Apple will release first quarter earnings one day after CEO Steve Jobs announced that he will be taking an medical leave of absence. Apple stock fell less than 3 percent after the announcement was made of his leave. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Apple and Samsung have been locked in a legal battle for over a year now, with Apple accusing Samsung of patent infringement because of its Galaxy S smartphones and Samsung attempting to stop sales of the iPhone. But strangely enough, the two still have a symbiotic relationship -- with Samsung selling its components to Apple and using them in Apple's mobile devices.
So when news hit that Apple was buying memory from Japanese suppliers rather than Samsung, it may be a signal that their symbiotic relationship could be nearing an end. The report is from the sometimes reliable DigiTimes, which also said the move by Apple was intended to diversify its supplier base.
Apple is the largest semiconductor buyer in the world and Samsung's biggest customer for its component manufacturing side business, which makes the logic chips, memory chips and liquid crystal displays for iPhones, iPads and iPods. While this may seem like Apple is in the stronger position, realize that its mobile devices and quality were based on Samsung components, not unknown suppliers.
We think it would behoove both companies to put aside their differences and concentrate on what's important, making newer and more innovative mobile devices.