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Apple Dropping Samsung As Chip Supplier – Report

Reports in Korean media suggest TSMC, not Samsung, will be contracted to make the upcoming A7 processors

On by Max Smolaks 0

Apple could be ditching Samsung and switching suppliers for its A7 chips, expected to be released in the first half of 2014, and power future iPhones and iPads.

A report in the Korean Times suggests the company will be contacting the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), not Samsung, to make the silicon for Apple mobile devices.

The relationship between two of the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers has been growing tense, to say the least. Last year, Apple sued Samsung for patent infringement in California, and was eventually awarded over $1 billion in damages. That sum was recently cut in half by federal judge Lucy Koh, who said legal errors were made during the original trial.

There were also plenty of smaller lawsuits around the world, including one in the UK where a judge ordered Apple to run adverts in several major UK publications, stating that Samsung didn’t copy the design of its mobile devices.

Grounds for divorce

tsmc

According to the unnamed Samsung executive quoted by the Korean publication, Apple has been sharing confidential manufacturing information with TSMC, and the Taiwanese company has already started ordering the equipment needed for the advanced 20 nanometre manufacturing process.

Apple is already reducing its reliance on displays made by its competitor.

Rumours Apple will be ditching Samsung as a supplier have surfaced in the past. In January, Taiwanese financial newspaper Commercial Times already reported that the Silicon Valley giant had asked TSMC to produce the next-generation of its ARM-based processors.

According to the report, Samsung is expected to focus on chips for its own smartphones while maintaining close ties with Nvidia, the company which designs the popular ARM-based Tegra SoC.

If the reports are true, the switch could hurt Samsung’s profits, which are expected to grow by 53 percent for the period from January to March. However, the April release of the latest smartphone in the incredibly popular Galaxy range could somewhat ease its pain.

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Max Smolaks

Author: Max Smolaks

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