The battle over who will manufacture the A9 chip for Apple’s next-gen iPhone has reportedly come to a close, with Apple giving the nod to long-time frenemy Samsung instead of current A8 chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC).
According to a new report, the South Korean tech giant will begin making the A9 processor chips — using its advanced 14-nanometer process — at the company’s Giheung factory, with additional orders going to Samsung partner Globalfoundries.
TSMC picked up Apple’s A8 orders for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus after the relationship between Apple and Samsung had worsened as the result of ongoing legal disputes.
To try and win Apple’s orders for A9 chips — which are not just lucrative on their own, but can also help attract work from other companies — both Samsung and TSMC pulled out all the stops by investing heavily in their production capabilities. TSMC reportedly budgeted a record $12 billion for equipment, only for Apple to eventually decide in favor of Samsung.
If accurate, the move is a blow for anyone who wanted to see Apple finally ditch Samsung for another company that’s not directly competing with it in other business areas. Having seen its mobile business falter last year, Samsung’s back on solid ground after the strong positive reception afforded its new Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones.
Back to the drawing board, TSMC!