KOREAN PHONE MAKER Samsung apparently is attacking on another front in its ongoing battle against Apple, with reports claiming that it is trying to steal its rival's parts suppliers.
While Samsung does a lot of its manufacturing inhouse, Reuters reports that the company is looking for new suppliers due the growing demand for its Galaxy smartphones, in particular the Galaxy S4. However, the Korean giant apparently is looking to lure away Apple's suppliers, sparking talk of another battle between the two smartphone companies.
If this is true, it could make life a bit difficult for Apple, which reportedly has signed up new manufacturers recently to work on a cut-price iPhone model. It could drive up costs for the American gadget designer and could cause the firm to suffer shortages of critical iPhone parts.
However, it looks like the battle might have already been joined. Samsung bought a three percent stake in Sharp earlier this year, which said this week that it is looking to boost sales, potentially harming its relationship with Apple.
"The next round of the post-patent battle for them will be over component supplies," said Lee Sun-tae, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities. "Who wins access to the best performing components in class in large quantity - that's the key... and explains why Samsung is shopping for components more than ever."
This looming conflict follows on the heels of Apple's and Samsung's ongoing patent war in the courts. Most recently, Apple requested a court's permission to add the Samsung Galaxy S4 to its upcoming patent lawsuit, claiming that the handset infringes iOS design patents.
Neither Apple nor Samsung were immediately available for comment. ;µ