“Overtaking Apple Inc as the world’s leading maker of smartphones has stretched Samsung Electronics Co’s in-house supply lines, and the South Korean firm is now courting some of its rival’s main parts suppliers,” Miyoung Kim reports for Reuters. “After costly courtroom battles over technology patents, the two gadget giants are now going head-to-head over securing the best supply of parts as they jostle to rule the $253 billion smartphone market.”

MacDailyNews Take: “After?” The courtroom battles continue, honey, unfortunately at a glacial pace, but inexorably nonetheless.

“Trampling on Apple’s supply patch could make life tough for the U.S. firm as it prepares for its next product line-up including a cheaper iPhone for emerging markets such as China. Having Samsung muscle in on its suppliers could drive up costs and lead to component bottlenecks, disrupting product launches,” Kim reports. “‘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.'”

MacDailyNews Take: “Post-patent battle?” Again with the wishful thinking, this time from a Seoul based securities firm, as quoted by a Seoul-based “reporter.”

Kim reports, “Sharp, in which Samsung bought a 3 percent stake earlier this year for $110 million, said this week it was seeking to boost sales to the Korean firm, potentially souring the Japanese company’s ties with Cupertino, California-based Apple. Samsung is also using more chips made by Qualcomm, another major Apple supplier, in its flagship Galaxy S, which went on sale late last month.”

“For sure, Samsung still buys the majority of its components in-house, and the overlap with Apple on external suppliers is, so far, limited. BNP Paribas estimates that more than 80 percent of component profits generated by Galaxy S4 sales go to Samsung itself and its units. But even a tiny overlap can be damaging,” Kim reports. “For example, Taiwan’s HTC Corp, which has slipped out of the top-10 smartphone makers, reported a record-low quarterly profit last month after delaying the full launch of its flagship model due to a shortage of cameras.”

“Despite the lukewarm reviews, consumers keep snapping up the S4, according to carriers,” Kim reports. “For the first time in at least three years, Samsung last year spent more on marketing than on research and development, seeking to pick up market share in the absence of new, competing models from Apple.”

MacDailyNews Take: You know, because an iPhone released 34 weeks ago is an “old” model.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Just wondering: Does Samsung pay Miyoung directly or do they go through Reuters?