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Photo by Bloomberg

Apple and Samsung’s Teamwork

Photo: Photo by Bloomberg

Comedian Louis C.K. had a smart observation a few years ago about how quickly people become blasé about the wonders of modern life, such as plane flight. His commentary came to mind after I read my colleague Wayne Ma’s story this morning about Apple’s rocky business marriage with Samsung. Among other things, the story describes how hard it is to make the OLED displays used in iPhones of recent years. These displays “require evaporating multiple layers of organic materials in a vacuum and through a metallic plate akin to a stencil to create a precise pattern of pixels,” Wayne revealed. Yep. There’s more to that slab of glass on the front of a phone, which seems to scratch all too easily, than you might think.

It’s too easy to forget that these devices we all carry around in our pocket are fantastically sophisticated and extremely difficult to make, even for tech companies worth trillions of dollars. That complexity is largely why Apple gets Samsung—yes, the company that makes the iPhone’s biggest rival, the Galaxy line of phones—to supply most of its OLED displays for iPhones, as today’s story explains. These companies produce marvels of technology. More importantly, they’re marvels of tech industry teamwork.

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