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Is Samsung Playing Games with Reports of iPad Display Supply?



Adam just posted a story that about Samsung providing the displays for the rumored iPad-mini or whatever the heck it might or might not be called. That follows other reports that Samsung is continuing to provide displays for the new iPad after LG and Sharp didn’t measure up.  With the new iPad due to hit store shelves and consumers’ hands on Friday March 16th you have to say the timing is slightly more than curious. Some are saying how ironic this relationship is at this moment given the legal tussles that Apple and Samsung are engaging in over patents and the continued relationship that Apple has with Samsung for parts. There’s irony there sure. But maybe there’s more.

I certainly don’t know what I’m about to say to be true, but nothing in the world of business surprises me these days. So, consider what follows to be complete speculation.

The timing of these reports indicates to me that Samsung might be playing some games (or attempting to) with Apple. If the report is true that says Apple is still relying on Samsung for iPad displays, after failures by LG and Sharp, then it makes some devious sense that Samsung might “leak” this info about a smaller iPad in the week before Apple is hoping to see lines of fan boys and girls outside its doors eager to plop down some dough for the larger variety.  Apple (and others) have been known to play games by timing announcements to disrupt competitors. That’s an age old game. Apple plays it well. Others not so well.

My thinking here is that Samsung might be trying to play Apple’s game. But on what level? Keep in mind that Apple is also notorious for terminating relationships with vendors who leak info prematurely.  If Apple can’t get displays anywhere else to meet its satisfaction, and if Samsung is indeed leaking this info to try and disrupt the new iPad launch news, it would be a high stake game of chicken.

But I’m guessing this has more to do with the long game and sales this upcoming holiday season. Any disruption caused this week is just adding cream to the coffee. Again, assuming that my speculation has any degree of accuracy, would Apple follow historical patterns and tell Samsung to take a hike for leaking the info? Would Samsung care if a smaller iPad got canceled or delayed due to a dispute with Apple? Would Apple? It’s an entertaining prospect to think about.

Given the legal fight over patents and given the bad blood already spilled, I’m guessing this is just an escalation of the Apple vs Samsung wars on another front.

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