Apple reportedly turning to Samsung for Retina screensBy Ryan Noik 2 August 2013 | Categories: news
It has been no secret that Samsung and Apple have had their fair share of legal enmity over the past couple of years. Apparently though, bad feelings can only go so far, particularly when really important matters come to the fore, such as ensuring you have enough displays for an up-and-coming tablet called the iPad Mini Retina Display.
At least, this is Apple’s predicament, according to a report on the Wall Street Journal, which asserts that the Cupertino company has added Samsung back on its list of display suppliers for a forthcoming iPad Mini with Retina Display.
Screens for the current iPad Mini were previously sourced from Sharp and AU Optronics. However, according to the report, apparently the latter cannot handle Apple’s order as its “rate of output efficiency was too low to be profitable. “
The report further quoted Wanli Wang, an analyst with CIMB Group in Taipei, as explaining that Apple doesn’t have too many choices. “Only Samsung, LG Display and some Japanese panel makers are capable of making high-quality displays that meet Apple's standards, and it also makes sense to use multiple suppliers,” he is quoted as saying.
Pickles and problems
This, of course, leaves Apple in a pickle. While the company had tried to lessen its reliance on Samsung – not surprisingly, since the genesis of the duo’s battle centred around Apple’s accusations that Samsung was copying its iPhone and iPad designs - the fact remains that Samsung's Display Co. division is no stranger to high volumes (just ask owners of the S4 and S3 before it).
What’s more, since the launch of the 7.9” iPad Mini, the smaller-tablet segment has been on fire, with competition only heating up. Most recently, Google for example, refreshed its popular Nexus 7 tablet, and a number of manufacturers are going after the budget, small-tablet market, as evidenced by Acer’s Iconia A1 (first impressions).
While the exact dating of an iPad Mini 2 or iPad Mini with Retina Display, whatever moniker it is eventually bestowed, remains uncertain, the eventual refresh of the range seems almost inevitable.
Indeed, the fact that the new Nexus 7 now sports a HD display could possibly only spur Apple along, to crank out its small tablet offering a high resolution screen sooner, rather than later, and brace for a high demand.
To the point
To cater for that, however, Apple might just need to swallow its pride and bury the hatchet with Samsung. Yes, there is a rather delicious irony in Apple’s quandary of relying on a competitor to supply it with enough screens to meet burgeoning demand, particularly when that same competitor is accused of product plagiarism.
Failure to do so though, could well be Apple’s downfall in the small tablet space – the only thing worse than not having a great product that anyone wants is having something that almost everyone desires but not everyone can get due to stock shortages. That is something we expect Apple, cannot, and will not allow.
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