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The stormy relationship between Apple and Samsung continues to grow more interesting. After a series of brutal lawsuits focusing on Samsung's infringements of Apple's copyrights during the creation of the original iPhone, Samsung has now emerged as the top supplier of display panels for the iPad in the first quarter of 2014.
During that quarter, as CNET reports, the South Korean tech giant shipped 5.2 million units of the 9.7-inch panels used for the iPad Air and the updated 4th generation iPad. That makes Samsung responsible for around 62 percent of the 9.7-inch displays; LG Display, by contrast, only shipped 3.2 million displays for 38 percent of the total. Previously, LG was responsible for 61 percent.
All this at a time when Apple is supposedly trying to break itself away from Samsung. But whatever its problems with Samsung's ethics, Apple found that the Korean manufacturer was simply more efficient at producing more of the displays than longtime partner LG Display and thus chose its longtime rival as the primary supplier last August.
The big question is whether this reliance extends to the creation of the upcoming A processors, which Apple is in the process of handing over to the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) in an effort to break from Samsung. If TSMC isn't up to the task, however, Apple could find itself right where it doesn't want to be once again.
Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.