Apple still relying on Samsung for iPhone 6s memory chips

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Samsung is after more of Apple's iPhone business.
Samsung isn't going anywhere when it comes to iPhone 6s production. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

People hoping that Apple will drop the Samsung albatross from around its neck for the forthcoming iPhone 6s may be disappointed.

According to a new report coming from the Asian supply chain, Samsung has come to an agreement with Apple to supply new 20nm LPDDR4 DRAM memory chips for the next generation iPhone, expected this September. Samsung will reportedly provide half of the chips Apple needs for its next iPhone, and has no problems upping the order if more are required.

The so-called LPDDR memory is said to be a major step up from the memory chips used in current generation smartphones and is “poised to enable a new technological leap” for premium handsets. Samsung will also provide 100 percent of DRAM orders for the upcoming LG G4 smartphone. Between the two orders, Samsung will allegedly bring in billions of dollars.

“This is really a huge deal,” says Hwang Joon-ho at KDB-Daewoo Securities. “This means Samsung’s chip business is booming riding high on its technologies that are far ahead of its rivals.”

If true, the decision to go with Samsung isn’t that much of a surprise. Despite previously turning to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to produce its A-series chips, Apple is said to be embracing Samsung for the next generation A9 processors that will be found in new iPhone and iPad models later this year. Samsung will reportedly be responsible for 80 percent of A9 chipset production, while TSMC will take care of the remaining 30 percent.

TSMC, for its part, has accused Samsung of using stolen R&D secrets to catch up on TSMC’s chip fabrication business — although Samsung itself isn’t a defendant in the lawsuit.

As for the iPhone 6s, we’re still a little over six months away, but rumors are starting to heat up. Not only are we hearing about A9 processors and major memory upgrades, but there have also been reports that Apple is considering adding ‘3D touch’ technology to the handset, similar to Apple Watch’s Force Touch. An overhauled Touch ID sensor is also supposedly on the cards, as Apple’s use of biometrics expands in the wake of Apple Pay.