SK Hynix, one of the main supplier for Apple, and a competitor for Samsung in the DRAM market, is going to also become a partner for Samsung, and provide them with enough memory chips for the Galaxy S4, so Samsung can meet the demand for it.
Samsung is the largest maker of DRAM chips in the world, but it seems that either they weren’t able to support all of their own devices, or they’d rather have an alternative to their own memory chips, just like they’re doing with the processors inside their devices. This could be a way for Samsung to create competition for their own divisions, so they don’t get lazy.
It could also be a way to balance the supply, in case something goes wrong with their own memory. So they could be doing some risk management here, with Hynix chips being used as a back-up, if there are any supply disruptions for the Galaxy S4.
The Galaxy S4, which is expected to go on sale next month, seems to have beaten its predecessors, with sales projected at 10 million units per month. I believe Samsung has set its goal on beating even Apple’s next iPhone this year, in sales, so they don’t want anything to slow them down, and are preparing for all scenarios.
It seems the stock price for both Hynix and LG, which are both Apple suppliers right now, dropped by 2.8% and 4.3%, respectively, because investors expect weaker demand for the iPhone and the iPad in the next quarter. Apple hasn’t launched a new iPad in spring so far, like they’ve usually done, and the sales for the iPhone are going to be lower in the quarter before the next iPhone announcement, just like they usually are.
This could be Samsung’s chance to promote heavily their new phone and tablets, and steal market share and mind share away from Apple, in the coming months, before Apple gets to make a comeback. Although, a strong Apple comeback would only be possible if Apple presents not just significantly refreshed designs and hardware, but also an overhauled and exciting new interface. Otherwise, I believe Apple will stagnate this year.
Samsung’s TouchWiz interface is also starting to look pretty old, though (hasn’t changed all that much since the first Galaxy S), compared to stock Jelly Bean (and I expected stock Key Lime Pie to look even better), and even the Sense 5 from HTC. Whether Apple changes its interface this year or not, Samsung is going to come up with a refreshed one themselves pretty soon, too.