As the battle for global smartphone supremacy has matured into just a two company battle pitting Apple against Samsung, Cupertino is looking to add more between itself and its archenemy by becoming less dependent on Samsung to build chips like the A7 processor featured in the iPhone 5s.
While Apple can’t totally rid itself of Samsung components just yet, a new report claims that Apple plans to lean on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) to handle more of the manufacturing of the A8 processor next year, rather than giving all the work to Samsung.
Apple may be forced to reduce its iPhone 5S orders for the fourth quarter of 2013 due to supply constraints affecting the handset’s rumored fingerprint sensor and LCD driver chips. Both components were expected to enter production in late June or early July, but that’s now been pushed back into late July, according to industry sources.
Samsung Electronics has reached a deal with Apple to supply A9 processors for the iPhone 7 from 2015, The Korea Economic Daily reports. Samsung has been producing Apple’s mobile processors since the iPhone first launched in 2007, but recent rumors have claimed the Cupertino company has been looking to take its business elsewhere.
Apple and Samsung are heated rivals when it comes to selling smartphones and tablets, but the two companies are still in bed behind the scenes. Samsung makes the majority of Apple’s processors for the iPhone and iPad, and there hasn’t been another manufacturer that’s capable of replacing Samsung’s assembly line prowess.
Moves are being made to distance Samsung from the iPhone’s guts, however. A deal with TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing) has been struck for Apple’s mobile processors. TSMC will start making a chunk of the ‘A’ series chips for Apple in 2014, but Samsung is still supplying the bulk of the orders.
The Wall Street Journal confirmed the deal over this past weekend after Digitimes recently said that TSMC will start making upcoming chips for Apple’s next-gen devices. “TSMC plans to start mass-producing the chips early next year using advanced “20-nanometer” technology, which makes the chips potentially smaller and more energy-efficient,” according to the Journal.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has reached a deal with Apple to supply its next-generation A8, A9, and A9X processors for iOS devices, according to industry sources. The company will reportedly begin manufacturing the chips using a 20-nanometer process, then upgrade to 16-nanometer and later 10-nanometer processes in the future.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) will reportedly land a deal for Apple’s future “A7’ processors when the Cupertino company’s current contract with Samsung expires in 2014.
Samsung has been responsible for Apple’s mobile chips since the introduction of the A4 back in 2010, but Apple has seemingly been looking to take its business elsewhere since the pair became embroiled in a series of lengthy legal battles.
Being in business with Apple can’t be all that bad right now. Despite a report this morning that claimed Apple’s suppliers experienced weak sales in February, there are a few Apple suppliers that are hiring more employees to meet demand.
The Apple TV, Cupertino’s “hobby” of a set-top box, is often used to test out new fabrication process for the A-series chips that go into iPhones, iPod touches and iPads. The last Apple TV ran a 32nm A5 processor built by Samsung with a single-core disabled, which eventually ended up (in a dual-core capacity) in the iPad mini.