Samsung has denied a report in a Korean newspaper that claimed the company’s display business planned to end its LCD panel supply agreement with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). A spokesman for the company told CNET that the report was not accurate. “Samsung Display has never tried to cut the supply for LCD panels to Apple,” the spokesman said.
On Monday, the Korea Times had cited an unnamed Samsung source to say that Korean company had made the decision because “its American partner is no longer a cash-generator due to the iPhone maker’s stiffer supply-chain management structure.”
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While Apple is said to be Samsung’s biggest customer with about $8 billion worth of purchases of screens and chips last year, the iPhone maker has been widening its component supply net lately by bringing in LG Display (NYSE:LPL) and Sharp. And though market research proves that Apple’s orders for Samsung screens have fallen since the first quarter, the two also have a partnership on memory chips and application processors.
However, Apple and Samsung have also grown to be each other’s biggest competitor in the lucrative and rapidly growing smartphone market. The two have filed several lawsuits against each other over the last few months, citing patent infringement and seeking product sales injunctions, increasing concerns that their supplier-buyer relationship may be strained as well.
“We did not cut the supply for Apple,” the spokesman told The Wall Street Journal. “Because of the patent lawsuit, the industry is guessing we tried to cut the supply. We didn’t do that. We will continue to supply panels for any customer.”
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