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

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Last 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.

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

Warbrain

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Jun 28, 2004
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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.
 

*LTD*

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Suppliers are suppliers.

And Apple will continue the lawsuits against Samsung on the mobile front, and Samsung will just roll over and continue to serve Apple's needs.
 
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TallGuy1970

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Jun 16, 2010
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I'm just projecting into the future....

An A6 quad-core processor, LTE, and a 4-inch screen on the next iPhone? There's going to have to be some major battery upgrades on that phone! :D
 

Michael73

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Feb 27, 2007
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Blows my mind...a quad core chip in a phone!

Make me wonder how Apple and all the developers out there will harness that kind of craziness?!? :D
 

lehite

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Sep 6, 2010
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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. 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.
 
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guzhogi

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Aug 31, 2003
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Wherever my feet take me…
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.
Start the haters complaining about having the same resolution on a bigger screen.

But then again, if Apple increased the resolution too, they'll complain about how developers would have to update their graphics.

What can I say? Haters gonna hate.


An A6 quad-core processor, LTE, and a 4-inch screen on the next iPhone? There's going to have to be some major battery upgrades on that phone! :D
If the bigger screen requires a longer and/or wider case, Apple could put in a larger battery. I wonder which component drains the battery the fastest.
 

ouimetnick

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Samsung is a big corporation. I'm sure their semiconductor business will be fine with Apple, and they will be happy... Obviously not the mobile copycat division of Sammy.
 

CJM

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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. It's not a tablet and bigger isn't always better.
Really? That's your evidence? One man's anecdote. People have different sized hands, y'know.

I totally agree. People will not let this rumor nor the iPhone 5 die.
As opposed to what? No more iPhones? "They'll languish with the iPhone 4s forever! MUAAHAHHA!"
 

DESNOS

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Aug 24, 2011
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Any possibility that Samsung, who pretty much owns south Korea, could have seeded this story to the press? I find the source rather suspect.
 

Piggie

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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. It's not a tablet and bigger isn't always better.
So let's just clarify this can we please?

You are publicly announcing you will not buy any future Apple phones if they increase the size of the current screen as you disagree with it being any bigger?

Just to clear this up.
 

swarmster

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Jun 1, 2004
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I was looking forward to seeing how the Apple/TSMC thing was going to work out (and I imagine they'll keep trying for the A7 or even late-cycle A6), but if this means I get an A6 in my iPad 3 in April instead of an A5 in my iPad 3 in July, I'll take it. :p
 

Johnner1999

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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/9A334)

The iPhone 5 will be free as a bundle with the PowerBook G5 ;-)
 

chrmjenkins

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Oct 29, 2007
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I'm still not sure that A6 will be quad core given the low likelihood the increased IPC will help many mobile applications.

Still, if they are going with Samsung, I doubt they had ever fully committed to TSMC. It's not as simple as switching suppliers when you're trying to build a customer processor specific to a company's process. Samsung's 28nm process is not TSMC's process.

However, given TSMC's 28nm node problems, it makes a lot of sense for Apple to avoid that for two reasons: the first is their own steady supply of A6 chips, and the second is their component suppliers' parts. If apple is foaming at the mouth to get those 28nm LTE all-in-one radios from Qualcomm next year, their own A6 stealing production capacity from Qualcomm at TSMC is not something they want to do.

Samsung has definitely demonstrated better fab competency as of late. Their just announced Exynos 4212 (32nm) is a beast and saves quite a bit of power compared to the 4210.
 

ThunderSkunk

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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.
 

axual

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Oct 31, 2007
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Apple should ...

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.
 

jamesryanbell

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Mar 17, 2009
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"I want everybody to focus on how awesome the 4S is right now. We'll get to the 5 next year. It's more fun for everybody to be talking about something I already have, and that's considered the best as of now." - Most Fanboys.

lol