Samsung Tuesday refuted reports that claimed the company would cease to produce LCD screens for Apple products starting 2013.

Earlier, the Korea Times citing an unnamed source reported Monday that Samsung was terminating the contract with Apple by end-2012 as it "believes its American partner is no longer a cash-generator due to the iPhone maker's stiffer supply-chain management structure."

But a Samsung spokesman told the CNET that "Samsung Display has never tried to cut the supply for LCD panels to Apple."

The initial report gained credence as Apple has been veering away from Samsung-sourced components that became apparent with the suspension of NAND flash orders for the first batch of the iPhone 5 shipment.

Earlier, in the first half of 2012, Samsung supplied Apple with 15 million LCDs, but shipments dropped to just 3 million LCDs in the third quarter and it is expected to drop even further to 1.5 million in the fourth quarter.

The supplier partnership news gains significance as Apple and Samsung are witnessing an increasingly strained relationship as they are suing each other non-stop and accusing each other of infringing patents and ripping off designs.

In the emerging battle for dominance in the telecommunication sector, the main point of contention is the control over the expanding smartphone and tablet markets considered vital for growth of electronics manufacturers.

Earlier, Apple relied largely on Samsung for components supply of its products but ever since the two companies started suing each other, Apple has significantly reduced its reliance on the company.

Previously, Samsung was the only company that was involved in the production of high resolution Retina displays that Apple employed for its third-generation iPad. However, at present, the Cupertino, Calif., company is sourcing displays from Sharp and LG. Reportedly, Apple plans to have chips manufactured by a company other than Samsung, AppleInsider has reported.

Apple iBookstore To Launch In 18 Countries?

With just a few hours to go for the Apple Special Event scheduled Tuesday that is likely to witness the unveiling of smaller iPad, AppleInsider has reported that Apple may take the iBookstore live in 18 countries along with the debut of much-awaited iPad 'Mini'.

It appears that an Australia-based iBooks label notified AppleInsider Tuesday that its iTunes account listed 18 new countries with a "pending," sale status, suggesting an imminent launch in those areas.

The new list of supported countries include Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela.