Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be moving away from Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. a little more as the prime component maker for iPhones and iPads – perhaps in the wake of the two companies’ ongoing legal battles over smartphones patents, as a recent research report indicated that Apple is spreading its supply orders to more companies and giving Samsung a smaller piece of the pie in the future.
As has been determined earlier, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has had legal fights with Samsung’s mobile handset division, which is a separate part of the company from its components division – so while Samsung’s components division essentially doesn’t know what is happening on the handset side, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) seems to be punishing the entire company – especially not only as the mobile arm of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is likely to appeal the jury decision of last month, but it also pursuing its own patent-infringement lawsuit involving 4G LTE patents – by actively seeking some new suppliers for its iPhone and iPad components just in case the component relationship completely implodes (which may be of Apple’s own doing).
According to the research report by TrendForce Corporation, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is giving indications that it will give more supply orders to top dealers in Japan, China, South Korea and the U.S., and may leave out several small Taiwan dealers, which were initially considered to be on the list for increased orders from the company. The research also indicated that Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. had accounted for 40 percent of the supply orders for processors in the past six months, but that has shrunk to 30 percent in the coming six months – at a time when some analysts are expecting big numbers for the iPhone 5, a new iPad and an iPad Mini.
Diversifying the supply chain may be a wise move, but is it past time for this, or the right time? There may be some key investors – like hedge-fund manager David Tepper of Appaloosa Management LP – who may have their own opinions about this, and may act accordingly.