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$7.8B in parts will make Apple largest customer of rival Samsung

post #1 of 41
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The partnership between Apple and Samsung is expected to grow in 2011, as a new report claims Apple will become the company's largest customer with $7.8 billion in component purchases -- even as Samsung attempts to compete with Apple's iPhone and iPad with new products unveiled this week.

According to the Korea Economic Daily, Apple is expected to buy about $7.8 billion worth of components from Samsung this year. The parts will reportedly be for Apple's mobile products, including the iPhone and iPad, and include liquid crystal displays, mobile application processors and NAND flash memory chips.

The proposed contract, according to industry sources cited in the story, would make Apple the single largest customer of Samsung.

The news comes as the Mobile World Congress is underway and Samsung has shown off a number of products it hopes will compete with Apple's iPhone and iPad. Among the products unveiled was the Samsung Galaxy S II, the follow-up to its hot selling line of Android handsets.

The new Samsung Galaxy S II has a dual-core processor and runs Google Android 2.3 Gingerbread with the device maker's custom TouchWiz user interface skin. It also sports a large 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus touchscreen with a WVGA 480-by-800-pixel resolution with 50 percent more sub-pixels.

The forthcoming handset also includes an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, 1080p video recording and playback, integrated near-field communications chip, and support for HSPA+, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The device is expected to debut in Europe and Asia this month.

Samsung Galaxy S II, photo via Cnet.

Samsung also this week introduced the Galaxy Tab 10.1, a touchscreen tablet it hopes will compete with Apple's iPad. The Android-powered tablet has a screen size slightly larger than the 9.7-inch display used by Apple's iPad, a change from the first Galaxy Tab, which had a 7-inch screen.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 runs Android 3.0 Honeycomb, the latest version of Google's mobile operating system specifically designed for tablets. That, too, is an improvement over the previous Galaxy Tab, which runs a version of Android intended for smartphones.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 screen has a resolution of 1,280 by 800 pixels, weighs 21 ounces, and measures 0.44 inches thick. It has an Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor, an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera and a 2-megapixel forward-facing camera.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, via PCWorld.

In terms of components, this past week it was claimed that Apple has shown interest in Samsung's new "Super Plane to Line Switching" (PLS) display technology. A separate report from Korea claimed that Apple will use Samsung LCD panels for the "iPad 2," and that the Cupertino, Calif., company has shown interest in Samsung's "Super PLS" displays, which allow for superior viewing angles.
post #2 of 41
Imitation, the finest form of flattery. Also the best admission that you cannot create anything on your own.
post #3 of 41
I'm curious though what the experience is like with the new Honeycomb Galaxy Tab. And the new Galaxy phone. These are probably the best Android devices out there, based on reactions to the previous Galaxy phone and tablet.
post #4 of 41
Hope this means the next iPhone will have a 4.3" screen.
post #5 of 41
Great... Now next time Samsung makes some dick move, Apple can "pull a Sony" and threaten to cancel all orders!!!
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post #6 of 41
Samsung is using the money it made from Apple to create a product to compete with Apple. One day Samsung may decide to withhold critical technical information from Apple to benefit its own products.
post #7 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

Hope this means the next iPhone will have a 4.3" screen.

Keep hoping. 4.3 is not pocket optimized.

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post #8 of 41
The way I see this, Apple depends on Samsung for parts, while Samsung doesn't depend on Apple for anything. If Apple would withhold orders, Samsung will simply use the parts to fill the void on the market with their own products. Clearly Samsung's situation seems safer, and will give Samsung a competitive edge in the long run.
post #9 of 41
$8 Billion in a year, just for components from one company is a lot of coin. Maybe the comments about Apple never using its profits to invest in future products can end.


Quote:
Originally Posted by winstein2010 View Post

Samsung is using the money it made from Apple to create a product to compete with Apple. One day Samsung may decide to withhold critical technical information from Apple to benefit its own products.

All companies should always be careful, but that doesnt mean that Apple using Samsung for components is a bad thing. Most of these CE companies are multinational conglomerate corporations.

Id say they need Apple because of the profit they get from component profits, and the growth associated with their trivial CE markets which Apple is leading in making viable for all vendors who wish to compete.
post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

The way I see this, Apple depends on Samsung for parts, while Samsung doesn't depend on Apple for anything. If Apple would withhold orders, Samsung will simply use the parts to fill the void on the market with their own products. ..

Assuming the people who would have bought Apple devices would settle for a pile of crap instead.

Business is business, Samsung is no threat to Apple.
post #11 of 41
Can't Apple just buy Samsung?
post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

The way I see this, Apple depends on Samsung for parts, while Samsung doesn't depend on Apple for anything. If Apple would withhold orders, Samsung will simply use the parts to fill the void on the market with their own products. Clearly Samsung's situation seems safer, and will give Samsung a competitive edge in the long run.

I don't think it's nearly that clear-cut. Samsung is not irreplaceable. Apple can get flash from a wide range of other companies, they already get screens from several other companies (LG and Sharp spring to mind), and while Samsung is the only source for the A4, Samsung is hardly the only contract chip manufacturer out there (GF, TI, etc). To the extent that Samsung is selling Apple things that are hard to replace with a different vendor, then I'm sure Apple has a long-term contract with Samsung to prevent them from doing what you suggest (thereby giving Apple time to find an alternative supplier for the A4, for example, if needed).

Also, Samsung does depend on Apple for something -- demand for $7-$8 billion worth of output from their fabs (which are big, expensive investments). Samsung can't afford to lose that much revenue instantly anymore than Apple can afford to lose that much chips/screens instantly.

So overall, I'd say it's a complex relationship that on net benefits both companies. If, in the future, either company decides that this relationship no longer benefits it, then the existence of long term contracts ensures that the other company has time to make other arrangements.
post #13 of 41
I think this arrangement is good because apple gets good components at good prices. It would have been worse if Samsung straight out denied apple access to its tech, forcing apple to develop even more hardware components in house or with firms that have less expertise.

In other words - no deal = bad deal. End of deal = bad deal. Having a deal for any amount of time = good deal. But of course you gotta keep your options open.
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post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radjin View Post

Imitation, the finest form of flattery. Also the best admission that you cannot create anything on your own.


except for the screen hahaha.

yea, kinda wondering if anyone will ever make something that Apple copies haha

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post #15 of 41
Apple's component pricing is unmatched in the industry. Case in point: 10" android tablets costing $700-$900 or more. Never thought I'd see the day that competing hardware vendors can't beat apple on price. Times have changed!
post #16 of 41
Samsung is a major components supplier for Apple who's capable and have the resource to supply the volume numbers Apple needs. Business is business.
post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

Apple's component pricing is unmatched in the industry. Case in point: 10" android tablets costing $700-$900 or more. Never thought I'd see the day that competing hardware vendors can't beat apple on price. Times have changed!

Could be worse.


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post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post

Can't Apple just buy Samsung?

Apple owning its entire supply line is not a bad idea in my opinion. They already make their own cpu, why not the screens and other components too. I think they (Apple) are certainly big enough now to do it and do it right.
post #19 of 41
Huh? Exactly what is a "sub-pixel" referenced in the original story? As in "Galaxy II...has 50% more subpixels."

Is the author trying to describe a fuzzy, outa' shape pixel?
post #20 of 41
Samsung is cashing in on the great job that Apple has done in building up its brand name.

Fact is that companies sell competing products under different names all the time. You think you're looking at competing products but dig deeper and you discover that, for example, A,T and T is also Vtec.

It's a way of capturing a larger percentage of the market and, really, Samsung has nothing to gain from trying to cut off Apple. All Apple would do is seek out other suppliers and probably not have a problem doing as much. Apple's iPad is not a huge success because of any outstanding properties associated with any one component, unless you consider software as a component. It's design, brand recognition, best-in-class software. Samsung can't compete in any of those areas but if it makes money off every unit Apple sells, why would that be a problem?

Certainly Samsung could have tried shutting Apple out, causing them to not be able to offer the iPad at such a low initial price. But then again, some other supplier might well have stepped up to fill the void and even if that hadn't happened, if Samsung had tried to hit a home run the magnitude of the iPad it would have failed miserably. So economies of scale would not have kicked in.

Apple has the reputation and software expertise to pull off a successful product launch whereas Samsung does not. So Samsung did the next best thing and cut a deal to make a lot of money off of Apple's success.

Now Samsung is hoping that the category that Apple has successfully launched - well beyond anyone's expecations - is one that it can make money off of with its own offerings. If Apple hadn't paved the way, there would be no tablet market today so this can end up being a win all around.
post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Apple owning its entire supply line is not a bad idea in my opinion. They already make their own cpu, why not the screens and other components too. I think they (Apple) are certainly big enough now to do it and do it right.

Not really. Apple currently doesn't make anything of significance by themselves. They do their own design work, but most if not all manufacturings are contracted out. A4 is at join design prodct with Samsung, and made by Samsung.

I think one of the key to Apple's resurgence has been their completely shedding manufacturing to contract vendors. This allows them to concentrate on design and marketing which they excel at, and leave the low profit and high risk manufacturing to someone else.
post #22 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SailorPaul View Post

Huh? Exactly what is a "sub-pixel" referenced in the original story? As in "Galaxy II...has 50% more subpixels."

Is the author trying to describe a fuzzy, outa' shape pixel?

http://www.oled-info.com/super-amoled-plus

Till now, AMOLEDs and Samsung's Super AMOLEDs had a pentile arrangement of RGB subpixels. Now, with Super AMOLED Plus, Samsung has the traditional arrangement of RGB subpixels.

post #23 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by winstein2010 View Post

Samsung is using the money it made from Apple to create a product to compete with Apple. One day Samsung may decide to withhold critical technical information from Apple to benefit its own products.

I'm concerned about the reverse. That Samsung is using the info they get from Apple to produce parts to extrapolate proprietary information about new Apple products. This enables Samsung to get a head start on coming out with competitive products.
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post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

I'm concerned about the reverse. That Samsung is using the info they get from Apple to produce parts to extrapolate proprietary information about new Apple products. This enables Samsung to get a head start on coming out with competitive products.

That's like saying GM will know how to build hybrids from Toyota if it gets its hands on a prototype. It's probably true, but it would take so long to reverse-engineer then come out with your own product that Toyota would have released its next vehicle.
post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

I'm concerned about the reverse. That Samsung is using the info they get from Apple to produce parts to extrapolate proprietary information about new Apple products. This enables Samsung to get a head start on coming out with competitive products.

I think it's less about the extrapolation, and more about the economies of scale. Remember, Samsung can use Apple's as the seed money to build capacity and headroom. Once at operational scale, Samsung can use that 'headroom' capacity to basically get 'free' components (cost of production, no need to pay for the CAPex of building out the manufacturing). If Apple is paying 'Cost', Samsung is paying 'below cost'.

All that being said, Apple also has the magic engineering and SW stuff. If Samsung reverse engineers something so close as being functionally identical, then well, Samsung would have a legal issue to deal with... something that I'm sure Apple's Lawyers have made clear in no uncertain terms in the component delivery agreemen (you take the chips we ask you to make, and go and make an i* and build SW with the same capabilities as our firmware and iOS... we want $XX (our profit) per device).
post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post

Can't Apple just buy Samsung?

No apple cannot buy something that's bigger than itself.

http://jawal123.com/PublicPages/News...268&lang=en-us

-excerpt-
2010 Q4 report
Apple: $26.74 billion in revenue, $6 billion in quarterly profits
Samsung Mobile: $10.9 billion of revenue and $1.3 billion of profit in the last three month alone,
-end-


But of course Samsung isn't just about the Mobile division:
http://news.mk.co.kr/v3/view.php?sc=...dcode=&sID=308

-excerpt-
fourth quarter (Q4) of last year to be $36.5 billion in sales
-end-
post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

I think it's less about the extrapolation, and more about the economies of scale. Remember, Samsung can use Apple's as the seed money to build capacity and headroom. Once at operational scale, Samsung can use that 'headroom' capacity to basically get 'free' components (cost of production, no need to pay for the CAPex of building out the manufacturing). If Apple is paying 'Cost', Samsung is paying 'below cost'.

All that being said, Apple also has the magic engineering and SW stuff. If Samsung reverse engineers something so close as being functionally identical, then well, Samsung would have a legal issue to deal with... something that I'm sure Apple's Lawyers have made clear in no uncertain terms in the component delivery agreemen (you take the chips we ask you to make, and go and make an i* and build SW with the same capabilities as our firmware and iOS... we want $XX (our profit) per device).

This reverse-engineer etc is NON-issue. Samsung has been selling components to Apple for YEARS.

One historical fact people here don't know about Samsung. A little over a decade a go, DELL entered into a 10 years, 1 billion dollar component supply deal with Samsung. Dell also was trying to secure stable supply of RAM/LCD etc. I recently learned that part of the agreement was that Samsung NOT sell Samsung branded computers in US during the agreement. Hence Samsung brand laptops were absent in US during the 10 year period while they were available in Korea (obviously) and Europe and other places.

Google samsung laptop before say 2006. You will have to use advanced search of Google to limit time period. See what I found.
http://www.ubergizmo.com/2005/08/sam...a-thin-laptop/

-excerpt-
Sense X1 laptop thats only 20mm thick (0.787401475 inches), weighs 3.75 lbs but still manages to have a 14″ display, a 60GB hard drive, 512MB of RAM and of course WIFI
-end-
post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

I think it's less about the extrapolation, and more about the economies of scale. Remember, Samsung can use Apple's as the seed money to build capacity and headroom. Once at operational scale, Samsung can use that 'headroom' capacity to basically get 'free' components (cost of production, no need to pay for the CAPex of building out the manufacturing). If Apple is paying 'Cost', Samsung is paying 'below cost'.

All that being said, Apple also has the magic engineering and SW stuff. If Samsung reverse engineers something so close as being functionally identical, then well, Samsung would have a legal issue to deal with... something that I'm sure Apple's Lawyers have made clear in no uncertain terms in the component delivery agreemen (you take the chips we ask you to make, and go and make an i* and build SW with the same capabilities as our firmware and iOS... we want $XX (our profit) per device).

Well, Apple is not DOD. So you can rest assured that Apple will make Samsung or any other component manufaturers justify their cost when submitting that bid. Also, while Samsung certainly enjoy this free startup money from Apple, the amount Apple pays is most likely only enough to build capacity to satisfy Apple's need. If Samsung want's to use the same product, they have to build their own capacity, and it will lag behind Apple in adoption into real product. So, not such a one sided advantage for Samsung and the like.
post #29 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SailorPaul View Post

Huh? Exactly what is a "sub-pixel" referenced in the original story? As in "Galaxy II...has 50% more subpixels."

Is the author trying to describe a fuzzy, outa' shape pixel?

I guess Apple needs those special "mobile application processors" to light up all those "subpixels."

[Yes, I'm aware of the concept of subpixel rendering. I just think tech nomenclature tends to be ridiculous.]
post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

That's like saying GM will know how to build hybrids from Toyota if it gets its hands on a prototype. It's probably true, but it would take so long to reverse-engineer then come out with your own product that Toyota would have released its next vehicle.

I don't disagree, but I was thinking about a point that an earlier poster had made: that Apple doesn't "make" anything, it designs it. That's the part that concerns me. Part of design is what features to include or not include, etc. If Apple says to Samsung: can you make a screen that will not interfere with this or that feature, or that allows for the inclusion of a new component, then they are tipped off as to what they need to do to be competitive with their own device. It's not reverse engineering, just valuable inside info.

It's probably a coincidence that Samsung fielded the first modestly successful competitor tablet. But it does make me wonder.
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post #31 of 41
The rightmost girl in the bottom picture looks a bit like Carrie Fisher, only without the strange hairbun haircut... Almost a Starwars hit then, for the "Galaxy" Tab

/me is sorry, could not help noticing that Space and Tab look alike...

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post #32 of 41
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post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post

Can't Apple just buy Samsung?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbaapp View Post

No apple cannot buy something that's bigger than itself.

Sure they can. Smaller companies do it all the time. K-Mart bought Sears, SBC bought AT&T. It's not about how much Samsung sells. It's about what Samsung is worth to stock holders and how much they are offered to sell. Apple could offer its own stock and cash in exchange for Samsung.

Not that it would happen. I think it would be disasterous. But it could be done. Anything is possible in the world of finance and corporate slight-of-hand.
post #34 of 41
The Samsung conglomerate (largest in the world) generates over $200 billion in revenue per year and that accounts for roughly 20% of the entire South Korean economy. Samsung Electronics alone has a market cap of over $130 billion.

For one, Samsung is just way too big and sprawling for Apple as Samsung dabbles in everything from washers and rice cookers to displays and semiconductors in their electronics division alone. The Samsung Group has a shipbuilding company that is the second largest in the world and also sells life insurance, runs some of the best hospitals in Korea, operates department store and hotel chains, constructs apartment complexes and virtually whatever else you can think of.

Second, for this reason Samsung will never sell out because the Korean government wouldn't allow it. Samsung's chairman Lee Kun-Hee was convicted of tax evasion and coverup and sentenced to a jail term but got a presidential pardon because he and the company mean too much to the Korean economy. Samsung is as good of an example as any for "too big to fail."
post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexkhan2000 View Post

The Samsung conglomerate (largest in the world) generates over $200 billion in revenue per year and that accounts for roughly 20% of the entire South Korean economy. Samsung Electronics alone has a market cap of over $130 billion.

For one, Samsung is just way too big and sprawling for Apple as Samsung dabbles in everything from washers and rice cookers to displays and semiconductors in their electronics division alone. The Samsung Group has a shipbuilding company that is the second largest in the world and also sells life insurance, runs some of the best hospitals in Korea, operates department store and hotel chains, constructs apartment complexes and virtually whatever else you can think of.

Second, for this reason Samsung will never sell out because the Korean government wouldn't allow it. Samsung's chairman Lee Kun-Hee was convicted of tax evasion and coverup and sentenced to a jail term but got a presidential pardon because he and the company mean too much to the Korean economy. Samsung is as good of an example as any for "too big to fail."

I wouldn't say Samsung is dabbling in rice cookers to displays and semiconductors (you forgot french door fridge) in their electronics division as they are all doing better than average in those fields. Samsung sells more french door fridge in US than any other manufacturer also (told so in CES 2011).

Nah, lkrupp, I really doubt smaller Apple can buy Samsung Group, let alone Samsung Electronics, let alone Samsung Mobile, let alone Samsung Display. Yeah, could happen, but you can say that just about anything...
post #36 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logisticaldron View Post

$8 Billion in a year, just for components from one company is a lot of coin. Maybe the comments about Apple never using its profits to invest in future products can end.

Not sure what you mean by this. I didn't see anything in the above article referring to prepayment for these component, although that can be a very good use of Apple's cash.

Note that $8B/year is below Apple's profits for two quarters (based on last quarter's profit of $6B which will be high due to the holiday season). Apple generated $9B in cash last quarter alone.
post #37 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

Samsung is cashing in on the great job that Apple has done in building up its brand name.

Fact is that companies sell competing products under different names all the time. You think you're looking at competing products but dig deeper and you discover that, for example, A,T and T is also Vtec.

It's a way of capturing a larger percentage of the market and, really, Samsung has nothing to gain from trying to cut off Apple. All Apple would do is seek out other suppliers and probably not have a problem doing as much. Apple's iPad is not a huge success because of any outstanding properties associated with any one component, unless you consider software as a component. It's design, brand recognition, best-in-class software. Samsung can't compete in any of those areas but if it makes money off every unit Apple sells, why would that be a problem?

Certainly Samsung could have tried shutting Apple out, causing them to not be able to offer the iPad at such a low initial price. But then again, some other supplier might well have stepped up to fill the void and even if that hadn't happened, if Samsung had tried to hit a home run the magnitude of the iPad it would have failed miserably. So economies of scale would not have kicked in.

Apple has the reputation and software expertise to pull off a successful product launch whereas Samsung does not. So Samsung did the next best thing and cut a deal to make a lot of money off of Apple's success.

Now Samsung is hoping that the category that Apple has successfully launched - well beyond anyone's expecations - is one that it can make money off of with its own offerings. If Apple hadn't paved the way, there would be no tablet market today so this can end up being a win all around.

Samsung has earned every YUAN it gets . samsung is a fine company .
apple and samsung are very cool together ,

9
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post #38 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

Samsung has earned every YUAN it gets . samsung is a fine company .
apple and samsung are very cool together ,

9

Er... you mean "Won" not "Yuan". Samsung's Korean.
post #39 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Sure they can. Smaller companies do it all the time. K-Mart bought Sears, SBC bought AT&T. It's not about how much Samsung sells. It's about what Samsung is worth to stock holders and how much they are offered to sell. Apple could offer its own stock and cash in exchange for Samsung.

Not that it would happen. I think it would be disasterous. But it could be done. Anything is possible in the world of finance and corporate slight-of-hand.

Your confusing "mergers" as "buyout".

At&t and SBC merged, neither did a hostile takeover of the other.

Sears did the same with K-Mart although that wasnt such a great business decision in hind sight.

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post #40 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Apple owning its entire supply line is not a bad idea in my opinion. They already make their own cpu, why not the screens and other components too. I think they (Apple) are certainly big enough now to do it and do it right.


Actually they don't "make" their own cpu. Their engineers take the ARM reference design, tweak it and have someone else (Samsung) manufacture it.
Apple is a design company, not a manufacturer. There are con's and pro's to that, but at a gain of $150 per share for me, it's all pro :-)

IMO the Samsung and Apple relationship is a good symbiosis. As well I remember reading that Samsung has strict contract rules ie contracts are not awarded inside if it can be had for less with an outside company. Each division is almost it's own entity, so if Apple is paying more for screens, flash, etc than Samsung's own mobile division, Apple gets the first order.

Everyone wins in the long run as long as Samsung stays clearheaded.
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