SEOUL Samsung Electronics Co is considering purchasing mobile memory chips from rival SK Hynix Inc for future products including its new flagship Galaxy S smartphone to be launched this month, J.K. Shin, head of Samsung's mobile business, said on Thursday.
A supply deal would be a boost to SK Hynix, which relies heavily on Apple Inc as a customer for its mobile dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips.
It also points to tightening chip supplies as mobile gadget makers prepare to upgrade their flagship product lines with greater variety and increased memory storage capacity.
Prices of mobile DRAM chips have increased steadily since early this year, reflecting a tightening supply outlook.
Samsung, the world's biggest maker of DRAM chips, has largely depended on internal supplies of memory chips for its Galaxy range of smartphones, but the market has expected it may also begin looking to outside chip suppliers to ensure no supply disruptions for key models of its Galaxy S smartphone.
The Galaxy S4, which will go on sale later this month, is expected to outsell its predecessors, with monthly sales of about 10 million, and could leapfrog past Apple's iPhone which recaptured the top spot in global smartphone sales in the fourth quarter, analysts said.
Shares in Hynix dropped 2.8 percent on Thursday as Apple suppliers were hit by concerns of weaker demand from the iPhone and iPad maker, after a disappointing revenue forecast by one of its suppliers.
Shares in LG Display Co, which makes flat screens for Apple's iPhone and iPad, tumbled 4.3 percent.
(Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Edmund Klamann)