Apple streamlines supply chain; Samsung to supply $7.8 billion in components Apple recently moved to shore up its supply chain to avoid any possible delays in the scheduled shipments of its upcoming product releases, placing a $7.8 billion order for key components with Samsung Electronics for this year.

Apple signed a supplier deal with Samsung for sourcing liquid crystal displays, processors, and NAND flash memory chips, making Samsung the technology's giant's largest customer. Apple hopes to avoid some of the supply chain disruptions that have plagued other electronics makers and forced them to delay product launches because of manufacturing delays, the International Business Times reports.

LG was once the sole provider of LCD displays for Apple, but it was unable to keep up with surging demand from Apple, LG chief executive Kwon Young-soo said. "Demand from Apple keeps growing and we can't meet it all. Apple may have to delay launches of the iPad for some countries due to tight component supplies and strong demand," he affirmed.

Apple chief operating officer Tim Cook, who is taking over for chief executive Steve Jobs during his medical leave, is often viewed as a supply chain guru by the business community. Reports in recent weeks indicate Cook is likely behind Apple's move to streamline its supply chain as it works to release its newest versions of the iPad, iPhone and laptops.  
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