Apple Teams With Samsung To Build iPad Mini Retina Display (AAPL, SSNLF)
According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple has added Samsung to its list of suppliers to build a Retina Display for the second-generation iPad Mini.
Apple had initially planned to use Sharp and LG Display (NYSE: LPL) exclusively. The Mac maker decided to include Samsung to ensure that it had enough displays ready for its upcoming device.
This is a significant change from the original iPad Mini, which contained screens manufactured by LG Display and AU Optronics (NYSE: AUO). AU Optronics seems to have been eliminated from that mix while two other firms were added.
By accepting help from its South Korean rival, Apple has put itself in a tricky situation. In Asia the two firms work together to build high-end iDevices. Everywhere else they battle over patents and design disputes.
Samsung recently persuaded the United States International Trade Commission to ban the sale of several iDevices, including the AT&T (NYSE: T) version of the iPhone 4. The iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G have also been banned.
In June, analysts told Benzinga that this ban -- which is scheduled to begin on Monday, August 5, 2013 -- will not have any affect on when Apple will choose to release the iPhone 5S.
"I don't think it will lead to any changes to Apple's product plans because there are other issues of overwhelmingly greater importance," ABG Sundal Collier analyst Per Lindberg told Benzinga. "For example, product quality, differentiation, etc."
"The President could veto any action within a 60 day window," Hilliard Lyons analyst Stephen Turner told Benzinga. "We note that after [that] window it would be the beginning of August and we expect a new iPhone '5S' to be released shortly thereafter at which time we believe Apple would discontinue the iPhone 4 anyway."
The 60-day window comes to a close this Friday.
Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) are among the firms that have more or less come to Apple's defense. While their actions may have more to do with corporate self-interest than anything else, these companies have asked the White House to overturn the ban or simply delay when it goes into effect.
In a plea to the ITC, Apple reportedly said that the ban will "sweep away an entire segment of Apple's product offerings."
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ
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