Nokia, Samsung sign LCD deal"”reports

Samsung will start supplying liquid crystal display screens to Nokia, the world's largest maker of mobile phones, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report, quoting various news organizations, said Samsung will start selling them as early as the second half of this year and is expected to initially provide more than 20 million units a year, according to the Electronic Times.

Last year alone, Samsung sold 92 million small-sized LCDs.

Under the new deal, Samsung may increase its annual output by an additional 50 million units, the report said.

The move comes as Nokia tries to diversify its suppliers beyond Japan and as Samsung tries to fend off rival panel makers in Asia, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said.

The Associated Press report said Samsung spokeswoman Lee Soo-jeong could not immediately comment on the reports and said she was looking into them.

Kim Ji-won, marketing director of Nokia's Seoul office, said he did not have any information about such a tie up.

Samsung, which competes directly against Nokia in the global mobile phone handset market, would be one of several Nokia suppliers of LCDs, including Japan's Sharp, the Electronic Times said.