Nokia reportedly dropping Samsung as component supplier amongst rumors of theft

Reports that Nokia is dropping component maker Samsung from future orders have started circulating today. The rumor has two aspects two it: one, that Nokia is effectively moving away from Samsung for displays, memory chips and other internals and two, the move is inspired by unofficial allegations of design theft.

The story comes via Apple Insider who note that Apple is considering doing the same, especially since those two companies have been battling it out in court. During one of the trials, evidence that Samsung’s component manufacturing business (which is separate from the smartphone arm) was copying Apple’s designs came forth, shinning more bad light on the massive Korean manufacture. It’s with that same background that Nokia is evidently considering a similar move.

By now, our readers should be quite familiar with the accusations that Samsung takes liberties with competitors’ designs. Apple Insider, quoting an “individual familiar with Nokia's component orders from Samsung” claims:

"The 'firewall' between component sales and smartphones [at Samsung] is about as sturdy as a pile of kimchee." Noting that Samsung has "a record of getting orders for next-gen components, then canceling the orders. And then they show up in a Samsung phone. When you see a Samsung (certain specialized new design for) OLED phone as you surely will, you are looking at something that was stolen from Nokia."

Ouch. That quote is unofficial but it is certainly bold enough to raise an eyebrow. Although we shouldn’t replace actual facts with folk sayings in Samsung’s case the adage “where there’s smoke…” does seem to resonate well.

Rum: 7

It’s not too clear what Samsung components Nokia relies besides their occasional use of AMOLED screens. Indeed, the Nokia Lumia 920 eschewed the popular display technology most likely due to PureMotion (high refresh rate), which was not compatible. However the Lumia 8xx series for Windows Phone 8 does rely on those display types, presumably from Samsung.

With Nokia heading further and further down the road of unique and proprietary designs for their technology, it would make sense that the struggling Finnish company would want to steer clear of competitors, especially those with such questionable practices as Samsung.

Source: Apple Insider

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • If any of the allegations are true I would say its long overdue
  • dude, check this video.. an evident that Samsung is a copycat... NOKIA's BENDABLE PHONE:
  • I know right! And my friends are thinking that Samsung thought of this idea first!
  • Wow, pretty shocking and juicy gossip!
  • Hmmm. I'm torn here. Nokia saying Samsung is stealing offers some validity, but the fact it came from an Apple source...
  • Actually this rings very true.
    I've seen this in other companies, and for that reason if they are competing in one product division but selling components/IP in another I'd simply not trust them.
    Samsung are getting quite a reputation right now, although I'm surprised how tardy Apple have been in diversifying their components away from them seeing that they were busy suing them.  I think Tim Cooke is responsible for that, the chip production could have been moved to a 1/2 dozen of companies years ago, Apple like all companies need a visionary, instead they have someone who is short sighted :)
  • So why don't they sue already?
    Also, Samsung is the scummiest and worst company I have ever seen, ever. It's worse than AT&T
  • Actually, those who hate AT&T... come try Vodafone or Mobinil Egypt and you will know that AT&T is paradise :)
  • I think you are confusing Samsung with Apple, Samsung would be second :P
  • All Apple did was protect their ideas that Samesung stole. 
  • blah
  • Didn't samsung have an add for one of their first smart phones that read "just like iphone, only cheaper". 
    If that is the case, the proof is in the pudding, look at the old phones they had, looked like an iphone.  It wasn't until they gained market share and then tried to "re-design" their phones. 
    I still like their TVs
  • Yeah, their TVs (at least the display part and design) are really nice. Could do without the "SmartTV" crap though, lol. That's the thing with Samsung, they're a silloed company so you can trash talk their smartphone business which is completely separate from their TV side.
  • LG TVs are better. infact LG had a lawsuit against samsung stealing their OLED Technology.
  • Well, bringing a lawsuit in of itself is not evidence of guilt. Those two are the top display manufactures and I'm sure they'll fight dirty to get any edge possible. And in saying that, choosing between LG and Samsung is like choosing the lesser of two evils--I don't really care for either company too much.
  • I just bought a 60" LG Plasma set yesterday that is getting crazy good overall reviews for $799 + $100 MIR.  Check out Tigerdirect LG 60PA5500 if interested.  Killer deal on a great set.  That being said I think Samsung makes some great TVs as well, but I agree with you that LG tends to be a better value (price/performance/quality) buy vs Samsung IMO.
  • Not a fan of LG. I've bought a crap phone and crappier DVD player from them in the past. They might be better now, but I'm gonna stick with Panasonic.
  • LG makes crappy stuff except for their TVs. They are better than Samsung in the display department.
  • Their washers and dryers are the tits too.
  • Agreed! Their televisions are great...
  • Me too Panasonic sets are superb, they may not have the wow factor in terms of design but I'm my 3rd iteration of their VT plasma range. In a word, they kick ass
  • another case, another day..... never heard of this before but it seems interesting
  • The problem I see with many (not all) of the Samsung televisions is one, poor viewing angles, two, image is too saturated, three, they have thin bezels which look good but for some reason their TVs flex when your moving them and that's because they use a bit of plastic to reinforce the back of the (LED)TV. LG on the other hand uses a a steel plate to reinforce their televisions. They just feel half baked. Their 7000 series with the smartTV and camera with Kinect like functions doesn't even work half the time and they're asking over $2k for it. I will say their 3D performance is really good! Still, I prefer LG or Panasonic any day over Samsung because I feel they deliver a better finished product at a reasonable price.
  • After having bought a vizio, which is hundreds cheaper than Samsung, I will not look at any other.
  • I feel the same about my insignia!
  • Sammys memory chips...
  • Mmmm pudding.
  • AI is hardly the most trustworthy news source.  I read it but have to have my Apple love filter in place to get a truer picture behind each article, and given the Samsung hate there you have to be careful with any article mentioning Samsung.  If you write one comment that is unsupportive to Apple (i.e. real) in the forums there you get beaten up.  Thankfully WPC is much more balanced.
  • Worse yet is the author of that article @ Apple Insider
    Just go and read his Rougly Drafted
  • When I saw their flex phone, I thought, "Wow, that was awesome... Two years ago when Nokia first revealed it."
  • I also remember something about nokia's bendable display a few years ago. Whatever happend to that? Ever since nokia lost its top market position with the entry of smartphones, it seems to be doing less and less of innovation. Except for putting out better and better cameras.
    I hope they bounce back so I can keep upgrading to better windows phones every year on :)
  • There's a lot happening with the flexible phone. Nokia did set a goal for "Nokia Morph" 5 years ago and it is the leading company in graphene developent that's the key for bendaple phone. They were granted 1.3 billion dollars just 2 weeks ago to develope graphene further. 
    Early 2012 there was a interview were a Nokia R&D worker said that the main problem is the costs and the heat generated by the nanotechnology they are using. 
    As far as Nokia innovation goes. They seem to be still spending double the R&D of Apple and on patents for 2012 they created as many as on their prime back in 2006. Nokia has always been an engineer house and most of their tech are just such a undearneath stuff that people rarely appreaciate it and they are industry standards. From the new stuff Nokia owns over 55% of all LTE patents.
  • Asian companies stealing IP?  No WAY! /s
  • I know right.... :-)
  • Would be more shocking if an Asian company was not stealing IP. This is very common in the industry...mainly with ODMs. Samsung is bit more of a special case due to their size, scope, and reach.
  • Is that dust in the FFC?
  • No, it's where I keep my cocaine. That's what it's there for, not a FFC.
  • Daniel is awesome.
  • I don't think this move means more proprietary hardware. It wouldn't make any business given the massive expense in setting up facilities to do something many other companies already have tons of experience doing. What this probably means is a lot more business for Taiwanese competitors. And it's all they do, so there's no incentive in copying designs to share with some other devision.
  • Really a good move from Nokia this should have happend much earlier but now they have realised after losing most of thier market share to samsung...
  • This just solidifies my stand that Samsung sux!!! Copying is no longer flattery, it's theft. All they do is steal,...
  • i think WP central shud add a "like" button" many comments io wanna like...especially this one ;)
  • Copying is flattery for design. When you copy hardware that took years to develope, that is most definitely stealing.
  • I bet Apple and Nokia would do the same if they made things for Samsung. These days innovation means cheating and tweaking. Regardless, you'd get patent for anything. On a lighter note, why do I see similar articles in other tech sites before they get published in WP Central ;)
  • While I like Samsung, I see the potential problems. I still believe that HTC and Nokia should get closer, even merge or at least do like Mercedes and BMW, have a united components purchasing department, this could save them a fortune when they buy displays and a lot of other things. A Nokia-HTC would have the critical mass with Nokia going full on WP8 and HTC also covering Android. Would be a smart move.
  • "You read my thoughts... You've got THE SHINNING!"
  • "Don't you mean the Shin..."
    "SHHHH! Don't want a lawsuit, do ye?"
  • Wpcentral started to echo Appleinsider now? Yes, samsung maufactured screen, CPU and Mem for Apple and maybe Nokia. However, Could any of you put together a design based on screen/mem info? Also, screen and mem are samsung's own products. They developed them. How could they developed these "next gen component" just for all others but not for themselves? CPU is a different story, but again, Samsung have been in the CPU field long before Apple entered it.
  • If samsung developed a screen and sold it to others that's fine. If a company develops a screen and goes to Samsung to manufacture the screen and then all of a sudden Samsung starts to use that new technology in their own devices, then there is a problem.
  • They should switch to Sharp IGZO screens.
  • So this means that the GS IV will have an OLED screen that refreshes at 60hz also. I wonder how much juice a 1080P OLED screen uses at refresh rate
  • After having 3 AMOLED phones that experienced screen burn in less than a year, Samsung can keep their tech for all I care. The 920 with LCD display is hands down the best. Plus with the charging stand, I can use the phone as a clock without any fear of screen burn in and degradaton. I love Nokia devices but if they use AMOLED in their next flagship device, I will have to find another brand.
  • Speaking of copying, anyone else think (assumming this is real), that this UI looks a lot like Windows Phone??
  • WTF!!!!
    Please dont tell me!
  • Google and Samsung seems to be a match made in heaven, then...
  • Not only Samsung, all Korean are thrives by born!
  • I use to be a every thing Sony guy until 2007 the company went down hill, Samsung is the new Sony! For display's.....I still have my Sony XBR3 52" 1080p HDTV and still working perfectly! I just bought a new Samsung 8000 60" 1080p Smart 3DHDTV and I love it! I also love my ATIV S with 4.8" 720p display very clean and clear, crisp looking. Samsung is #1 display maker in the world right now.