Apple and Samsung Moving into 'Hate-Hate' Relationship
Apple and Samsung have long had a complicated relationship, with the two companies locked in numerous court battles linked to their competition in the smartphone and tablet marketplaces even as Samsung serves as Apple's largest component supplier. As tensions have continued to ride high between the two companies, there have been signs that Apple has been trying to cut back on its reliance on Samsung for component production.
The Korea Times now takes a look at how the relationship between the two companies has evolved from a "love-hate" relationship to a "hate-hate" one. The report highlights Apple's move to cut Samsung out of the chip development process for the new A6 system-on-a-chip found in the iPhone 5, with Samsung simply serving as a foundry to manufacture the chip and no longer contributing its expertise to designing Apple's chips.
According to industry sources, Apple has not collaborated with Samsung in the process to develop its A6 microprocessor used in its latest iPhone 5. Samsung has handled the manufacturing of the processors used in previous iPhones and believed to have contributed in their design to some degree.
Apple is still relying on the Korean firm to manufacture its chips but has made it clear it will no longer use its rival's technology, according to a senior Samsung official.
"Samsung's agreement with Apple is limited to manufacturing the A6 processors. Apple did all the design and we are just producing the chips on a foundry basis," he said on the sidelines of a technology fair at KINTEX in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province.
With Apple having recently hired Samsung chip designer Jim Mergard and reportedly seeking to shift A-series chip production to TSMC, it seems that Apple is seeking to further distance itself from Samsung. It remains to be seen, however, just how cleanly Apple can sever its component relationships with Samsung, as the Korean company's technical and manufacturing expertise in some cases make it difficult to shift to other suppliers.