Remember all those rumors about Apple ditching Samsung from manufacturing its processors, in an attempt to lessen their reliance on their now heavy competitor? Well it looks like Apple’s taking their first steps, as they have now made an agreement with Taiwan Semiconductor (TSMC) the world’s largest dedicated independent semiconductor foundry. As of right now, this “agreement” is for a trial production of Apple’s latest processor, the A6X, which is currently only used in the 4th generation iPad. This trial is being done, so that Apple can see if TSMC is capable of two things, meeting Apple’s strict guidelines for quality and quantity.
Until now, Samsung has been Apple’s go-to company for their processors, even having many of them built right here in the US—out of Texas—but as legal hurdles and heavy competition in the mobile space continue to grow, Apple is now looking to distance itself from its former ally. Some industry experts believe that Samsung has learned from its working experience with Apple, on how to deliver top quality hardware at breakneck speeds, which has helped the South Korean company take over the smartphone market and leave other Android OEMs in the dust.
If things work out and TSMC can deliver the processors Apple needs, at the quality they demand, this could be big business for them and a major loss for Samsung. It may also lead other, newer, processors being manufactured there as well. Rumors suggest that Apple is looking to use TSMC’s 20nm quad-core processors for upcoming iPads’s, AppleTVs/iTV’s and MacBooks, the iPhone however will continue to use a dual-core chip. Without producing Apple’s processors, Samsung will now be left out in the dark as to what type of power Apple is producing for future products, whether or not it will actually have any impact on their future products remains to be seen, but it certainly can’t help.