Apple To Move Away From Samsung For Production of A6 Chips In 2012
The ongoing legal battle between Samsung and Apple appears to be showing signs of wear on the two companies business relationship. According to Ars Technica, Apple is likely to tap Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company to build its next-generation "A6" chip in place of Samsung.
The current "A5" chip found in the iPad 2 and likely the next iPhone is built by Samsung using a 45nm process.
"It seems likely that Apple is making the change to cut some, if not all, Samsung-made components out of its supply chain," the report said.
If Samsung loses Apple's business it would leave nearly an $8 billion hole in their bottom line (Apple is expected to buy $7.8 in Samsung components this year). The next generation "A6" chips which are rumored to be based on a 28nm process, would be a huge pick up for TSMC. The rumors of Apple courting the Taiwanese company for chip production date back to March, and the patent disputes between Apple and Samsung appear to have sped up the process, or at least the speculation.
While Samsung has a number of phones, and tablets they manufacture themselves, they don't generate the production volume Apple demands. Also, with rumors of an ARM-based MacBook Air lingering, the potential for more orders from Apple would seem like an enticing prospect.
Source: Ars Technica