Although Samsung (SSNLF.PK) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) remain rivals in the mobile device market and in the courtroom, the Korea-based manufacturer is one of Apple’s key component suppliers. Apple’s continued dependency on Samsung was highlighted in a new DisplaySearch report cited by ZDNet Korea, via CNET. DisplaySearch is a market research firm that focuses on the display supply chain.
According to DisplaySearch’s data, Samsung retook its position as the No. 1 supplier of Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad Retina display panels in the first quarter of 2014. Samsung shipped 5.2 million display panels in the March quarter for 62 percent of the market, said DisplaySearch. Meanwhile, LG Display (NYSE:LPL), another major panel supplier for Apple, saw its share of the 9.7-inch Retina display market drop to 38 percent in the first quarter of 2014 from 61 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.
The 9.7-inch 2,048-by-1,536 resolution displays are used in Apple’s flagship tablet iPad Air, as well as its legacy iPad with Retina display. The iPad with Retina display replaced the iPad 2 as the most affordable 9.7-inch iPad in March.
According to data from market research firm IDC, Apple shipped 16.4 million iPad units in the first quarter of 2014, a decline of 16.1 percent from the year-ago quarter. However, despite the decline, Apple maintained its lead as the top tablet vendor in the world, with a 32.5 percent market share. During the company’s last quarterly earnings call, Apple Vice President of Finance Luca Maestri pointed out that iPad inventory adjustments also impacted the shipment numbers.