Apple has been trying to reduce their dependence on Samsung for well over a year as the two continue to battle it out in multiple courts across the globe. That’s never been clearer than it is now as a senior Samsung official told the Korea Times that Apple has made it clear they no longer plan to use their technology moving forward.
Referring to Apple’s new A6 processor used in the iPhone 5, an anonymous Samsung source said Cupertino designed the chip entirely in-house (something we already knew) and that their only responsibility was to produce it on a foundry basis. It’s a marked change as Samsung was involved in chip design and development on past Apple projects.
So with Samsung seemingly out of the picture for future production, who will Apple use to manufacture their processors moving forward? If speculation from analysts and chip sources from late last week are accurate, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will be responsible for producing Apple’s next generation SoCs. TSMC is the world's largest contract chip manufacturer.
Gus Richard from Piper Jaffray claims Apple is working with TSMC to produce future chips using the company’s 20 nanometer manufacturing process. CNET contacted a chip industry source who corroborated Richard’s claim, saying the relationship between Apple and Samsung has deteriorated so much that the two are now just filling contractual obligations before Apple makes a change.
Whether or not the deal pans out will reportedly depend upon TSMC’s ability to take on Apple’s full manufacturing needs. As one could imagine, such an undertaking would command an enormous amount of time and resources.