Apple has apparently turned to Amperex Technology Limited and Tianjin Lishen Battery for its laptop and iPad battery needs after Samsung reportedly stopped supplying the components. If true, it underscores the ongoing tension between the two companies over patent infringement claims.
Samsung to Apple: No More Batteries for You
News of the parts supply change comes via China Business News, although there isn't much evidence yet to back up the claims.
This latest claim follows reports that Samsung stopped selling display parts and raised the cost for manufacturing Apple's custom chips -- both of which Samsung has denied. Apple has, however, moved away from working with Samsung on future custom processor designs and instead is using the electronics giant just as a manufacturing partner.
"Samsung's agreement with Apple is limited to manufacturing the A6 processors," a senior Samsung executive said in October. "Apple did all the design and we are just producing the chips on a foundry basis."
Apple and Samsung have been fighting in courts around the world over claims they are using each other's mobile device patents without proper licensing. Apple managed to win a major victory in August when a U.S. Federal Court ruled Samsung was infringing on a long list of patents and awarded the Cupertino-based company over US$1 billion in damages.
Apple has also reportedly been grooming Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company to take over its processor manufacturing.
Considering the volume of batteries Apple needs and the amount of money Samsung makes from supplying parts to the company, it doesn't seem likely it would simply walk away from its contract. The China Business News report does, however, highlight the continuing clashes both companies face as the work through their patent infringement fight.
[Some image elements courtesy of Shutterstock]