Apple to Stick with Samsung for A6 Chip Production After All?

a5 ipad 2Last month, word surfaced that Apple had signed on with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) for production of the next-generation A6 and A7 chips destined for future iOS devices. Samsung has been Apple's manufacturing partner for the A4 and A5 chips, but several reports have been claiming that Apple has been trying to shift to TSMC in part because of strained relations between Apple and Samsung over intellectual property issues.

The Korea Times now reports that Apple will indeed primarily be sticking with Samsung for A6 production.

"Apple has been in talks with Samsung over shipment of its A6 quad-core mobile processor (AP) chips to be used in the next iPhone. It appears that Apple clearly has concluded that Samsung remains a critical business partner," an executive from an Apple parts supplier based in Korea said on condition of anonymity.

He said that Samsung has been increasing the output of the Apple-designed A6 chips in its manufacturing plant in Austin, Texas.

The apparent shift back to Samsung for the A6 is said to be tied to TSMC having issues with its production process, with Apple understandably requiring a stable component supplier as it looks toward its next-generation iOS devices.

"The manufacturing process at TSMC hasn’t been stabilized. Considering Apple's previous patterns of adopting qualified technologies, Apple isn't taking risks. Samsung offers better pricing and capacity commitment for the A6 mobile APs," said an official from a different Apple supplier.

The report also touches on the next-generation iPhone even as the iPhone 4S is only just hitting the market, reviving claims of a larger-screened "iPhone 5" design with a 4-inch display carrying the same resolution as the current iPhone.

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Top Rated Comments

Warbrain Avatar
166 months ago
This isn't surprising. Apple was probably looking for a little bit more freedom but the way Samsung is built and operated the lawsuits with the mobile side don't really affect the chip side.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wangkom Avatar
166 months ago
Apple should spend a billion dollars (of it's $70+ billion of cash on hand) and build its own chip plant here in the US, and be done with all of this back and forth.

Yeah, that's just dumb.

Maybe a design/software company should toss a few billion at graphics chip production and cpu production too!

I'm sure they would have no problem keeping pace with the industry leaders in areas they have no expertise (Intel, Nvidia, ATI/AMD)....

While they are at it, they should just spend a little more to make 4G chips and their own telecomm networks. They are Apple right? The best at everything!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ThunderSkunk Avatar
166 months ago
wtf sometimes on this board. If your world is changed by the difference of a 3.8" screen to a 4" screen on your telephone... you must live in a very very small world.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lilo777 Avatar
166 months ago
Apple is larger than Samsung, and Is their biggest customer, so absolutely.

Apple is not larger than Samsung. It has higher market capitalization but Samsung is bigger in many categories. Quote (http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/01/12/samsung-apple-rival-ipad-galaxy-tab/):


Samsung, though, is already bigger than Apple in terms of revenue. It's forecast to report $137 billion in 2010 revenue, more than double the $65 billion Apple took in during its most recent fiscal year.


And Samsung spends 10 times more than Apple on R&D
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AppleFan1984 Avatar
166 months ago
Any possibility that Samsung, who pretty much owns south Korea, could have seeded this story to the press? I find the source rather suspect.
The conspiracy deepens:

The CA judge who refused Apple's request for injunction is - you guessed it! -- Korean-American!
http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2011/10/17/2011101700515.html

In related news, PrisonPlanet reports that Samsung's senior counsel is Elvis, operating under direct orders from space aliens (and not the good ones, but the grays!)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lehite Avatar
166 months ago
When will people let the "bigger screen" rumor die? There's a reason why it is the size it is and it shouldn't change—this is why (http://dcurt.is/2011/10/03/3-point-5-inches/). It's not a tablet and bigger isn't always better.
That guy must have rather small hands. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)