South Korean giant Samsung Electronics had been the major supplier of components to Apple until 2011, which is the same year when both companies entered into legal turmoil regarding infringement of patents. It used to manufacture A-series chips that power iPhones and supply NAND flash and DRAM memory chips. However, during later years TSMC grabbed the contract to produce A-series chips.
While A9 chip that powers iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus was manufactured by both Samsung and TSMC, A10 fusion chip present in iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus was solely produced by TSMC. Samsung has only provided DRAM chips for iPhone 7 models.
As the six-year long litigation is about to culminate, Samsung may again become a prime supplier of components to Apple in manufacturing next generation iPhone. According to several reports surfaced on the internet, Apple is ditching LCD panels in favor of OLED panels on upcoming iPhone. If it turns out to be true, Samsung which is the world’s leading OLED panel producer may supply display panels for at least one next iPhone models. The company is planning to build world’s largest OLED manufacturing plant.
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Also, Samsung will also reportedly supply NAND flash and DRAM memory chips to the next generation iPhone. Samsung is also the largest NAND flash chip manufacturer in the world. Apple is expecting an overwhelming demand for the next iPhone, which is being released marking the tenth anniversary of the iPhone. So to avoid any demand and supply conflict, Apple should source components from a supplier who has the capacity to meet the demand. Eventually, Samsung is the most viable option for the American giant. Overall, Samsung is again set to become the prominent supplier of components for iPhone.