The falling out between Apple(s AAPL) and Samsung continues. The Korea Times says Samsung’s display unit will “completely cut” its partnership with Apple. That division of Samsung will no longer sell displays for iPhones and iPads to Apple because it’s not making enough profit, according to the report.
The Korea Times report quotes a senior Samsung source on the plans for the future of the partnership, which was already in trouble:
“We are unable to supply our flat-screens to Apple with huge price discounts. Samsung has already cut our portion of shipments to Apple and next year we will stop shipping displays,” said a senior Samsung source, asking not to be named, Monday.
Samsung has been the top supplier of liquid crystal displays to Apple, selling more than 15 million displays in the first half of 2012 to Apple. But according to the same unnamed source, Samsung has sold only 3 million to Apple since then. Apple has been cutting its reliance on Samsung Display and buying similar products from other sources, such as LG and Sharp. That is not too much of a surprise considering the deepening tension between the longtime partners.
After losing a landmark patent infringement suit to Apple this summer, Samsung has also seen its chip orders from Apple cut. Reuters reported earlier that Apple planned to rely less on Samsung for the iPhone 5’s memory chips. Then perhaps to add a little insult to injury, Apple also recently snaked a top chip designer away from Samsung. In this context, the severed panel business relationship seems like an inevitable next step.
Samsung’s display unit, however, is not spending too much time mourning the loss. It already has a replacement buyer of those panels in mind: itself. Samsung’s tablet-making business also has a need for LCD panels. Amazon(s AMZN), which is ramping up its own tablet business, is also said to be a potential new customer.