Taiwan’s Tech Companies Aligning with Apple

Taiwanese companies have long viewed tech giant Samsung as an important threat, and the battle has recently appeared to tilt in favor of the South Korean rival as Taiwan’s smartphone, memory chip and display panel makers suffered sagging exports.

The fact that Taiwan appear to have issues can be confirmed by the situation HTC is in. Despite the success this company had last year, HTC saw a net profit of $85 million, or $2.85 million U.S., in the three month span from January to March, according to Reuters. In comparison, HTC made $10.9 billion in the same period a year ago.

According to a report from the Associated Press on Wednesday, Samsung launched an internal “Kill Taiwan” campaign. Even though, Samsung denied these accusations, but the rumors helped spur Taiwanese companies to come together as a counterpunch to Samsung’s market successes.

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Moreover, Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission recently started an investigation referring to the fact that Samsung planted unflattering comments about Taiwanese consumer electronics on the Internet as a way of undermining their appeal to customers.

Because of Samsung’s dominance in the technology industry’s supply chain, Taiwan-based companies appear to be afraid they will lose more ground. Therefore, a number of Taiwanese manufacturers are carving out alliances with high-tech companies in Japan and the United States that are also facing off against Samsung. One of the main device makers Taiwanese companies plan to align with seems to be Apple.

Therefore, although until now Samsung has been the exclusive provider of custom CPUs for the iPhone and iPad, it is predicted that Apple is planning to switch away from Samsung due to competition between the two companies. According to the rumors, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. as Apple’s most likely partner in a chip switch. Switching its chip manufacturing from Samsung to TSMC is expected to be a complex transition that could take Apple as long as 18 months to complete.

In accordance to all the rumors that recently appeared, Apple seems to be playing a key anti-Samsung role for Taiwanese companies over display panels. This is the reason why Apple tried to find an alternative supplier to Samsung, stimulating Foxconn to try and buy a 10 percent stake in panel maker Sharp Corp., last year.

In addition, according to the report from the Associated Press that appeared on Wednesday, Apple is also looking for alternatives to Samsung to build “future iTVs”, but there are no details regarding a supposed Apple television.

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