The relationship between Apple and Samsung is complicated.On the one hand, they’re bitter rivals fighting to dominate the smartphone market — both in court and in the consumer market. On the other hand, they’re close partners with Samsung making the chips that power Apple’s mobile devices, as well as flash-memory chips.
Considering the escalating rivalry between the two, why do the companies still work together? Because Apple needs Samsung to make its gadgets and Samsung wants billions of dollars from Apple.
However, the relationship appears to be coming apart. Kim Yoo-chul at the Korea Times says the companies are moving from “love-hate to hate-hate” and Apple is cutting back its reliance on Samsung.
In the past, Apple used Samsung to design and manufacture its mobile chips, the A5 and A5X. For the A6, which powers the iPhone 5, Apple just had Samsung manufacture the chip.
While Kim makes this sound bad, it turns out Samsung got more money from Apple to manufacture the A6 than it did for its previous work. Further, Samsung is going to be providing more flash-memory chips for Apple.
So, while the relationship is moving to “hate-hate” Apple is still going to be writing big checks to Samsung. Until a Samsung competitor can prove that it can make chips as well as Samsung, expect Samsung and Apple to remain reluctant partners for a while.
It’s similar to Apple using Google search as a default in Safari on the iPhone. It might not like Google, but it knows Google provides the best search experience for users out there. Apple might not like Samsung, but Samsung is still the best at what it does for Apple.