Samsung may spin off its chip business as standalone company

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A10 Fusion
Losing Apple's A-series chip orders may have prompted the move.
Photo: Apple

Samsung may spin off its chip-making business as part of a company-wide restructuring, claims a new report.

The move would be a response to Samsung’s loss of Apple’s A-series chip orders to rival chipmaker TSMC for the iPhone 7 and, potentially, future iOS chips as well.

iPhone 7 chipmaker enjoys record profits in 2016

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A10 Fusion
There's strong demand for the A10 Fusion chip inside iPhone 7.
Photo: Apple

Strong demand for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus helped chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company achieve record profits for 2016. Not only is TSMC outperforming its rivals, but it now accounts for 16 percent of Taiwan’s entire equity market value.

Soaring iPhone 7 demand helps Apple supplier set new profit record

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A10 processor
Building Apple's A10 chip turns out to be good business.
Photo: Apple

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) reportedly had to fight to secure the A10 chip orders for the iPhone 7, but whatever it had to do to get there has clearly paid off!

That’s based on the company’s new 2016 revenue forecast, which has just been ramped up based on new profit and sales records being reached in the year’s third quarter — largely thanks to the success of Apple’s next-gen iPhone.

Intel wants to make iPhone processors by 2018

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Future iPhone processors may be made by Intel.
Future iPhone processors may be made by Intel.
Photo: Apple

The next iPhone you buy might have Intel inside, if the company is able to succeed in its new plans to overthrow Apple’s long-time partner, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.

Intel, the world’s-largest chipmaker, is reportedly looking to make a big splash in mobile chips and has already started talking to Apple about taking over orders to make the ARM processors used in the iPad and iPhone.

Apple’s cost-cutting strategy draws ire of Chinese supply chain

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Tim Cook meeting an iPhone manufacturer in China.
Tim Cook meeting an iPhone manufacturer in China.
Photo: Apple

With iPhone demand slowing down, one of the ways in which Apple is hoping to increase earnings is by pushing its suppliers to work for less money — but it doesn’t seem to be going entirely to plan.

According to a new report, Apple is meeting resistance from manufacturers in its Taiwan-based supply chain as it requests that they lower quotes for iPhone 7 components by as much as 20 percent.

Apple’s already doling out contracts for next year’s A11 chip

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Apple chips are getting EMI shielding.
Apple's next-next gen processor is already underway.
Photo: Apple

The iPhone 7 is still around eight weeks from hitting shelves, but Apple and its suppliers are already looking ahead to next year’s iPhone refresh — according to a new report claiming that Apple has placed its orders for the next-next-gen A11 chips.

And in a break from its recent strategy, it’s apparently placed them all with one supplier. And sorry Samsung, but it isn’t you!

Apple chipmaker will spend $2.2 billion to gain edge over rivals

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Apple chips are getting EMI shielding.
TSMC may have won the A10 battle, but it also wants to win the war.
Photo: Apple

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) may have reportedly scored Apple’s A-series orders for the next-gen iPhone 7, but with plenty of rivals on its tail it’s not shying away from putting in the work (and, more importantly, the cash) to ensure it stays Apple’s chipmaker of note.

According to TSMC’s co-CEO Mark Liu, this means spending a massive, record-setting $2.2 billion on R&D this year; a significantly higher figure than the $1.067 it spend researching new processes last year.

Work on next year’s iPhone chips is already underway

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Apple chips are getting EMI shielding.
TSMC is building Apple's next-gen iPhone chips.
Photo: Apple

From the sound of things, Apple is focusing a lot of attention on next year’s iPhone launch as the biggest handset refresh since 2014’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Alongside OLED displays, wireless charging, an all-glass enclosure and a lack of physical home button, the iPhone 7s (or possibly iPhone 8 if certain rumors are to be believed) will also include a next-next-gen A11 chip. And Apple’s already working on it.