Apple and Samsung Hammering Out $7.8 Billion Display Deal

Published on February 14, 2011
by John Paczkowski

With demand for its iOS devices growing, Apple is once again moving to secure vast storehouses of parts with which to build them. Cupertino is said to be finalizing a massive component contract with Samsung, one that would make it the company’s single largest customer.

Worth about $7.8 billion, the deal is believed to include liquid-crystal display panels for the next iteration of the iPad, as well as mobile application processors and NAND flash memory chips used for the U.S. company’s iPhones and iPads.

One unknown: Whether the displays reportedly included in this deal are the rumored Super PLS panels that offer not just a wider viewing angle, but superior visibility outdoors. Another: Whether this deal is somehow related to the $3.9 billion component supplies and capacity contract Apple COO Tim Cook mentioned during Apple’s first-quarter earnings call.

“In the past several quarters we’ve identified another area and come to some recent agreements that [CFO Peter Oppenheimer] talked about in his opening comments, in that these payments consist of prepayments and capital for process equipment and tooling,” Cook said back in January. “And similar to the flash agreements, they’re focused in that area we feel is very strategic. And so I’d prefer not to go into more detail about what specific area it’s in, but it’s the same kind of thinking that led us to those deals that led us to the flash deal.”

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