Although Apple has been holding talks with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. over making its application processors in the coming years, it looks like Samsung Semiconductor will remain the manufacturer of chips for iPhones and iPads. A South Korean publication claims that at least till 2015 Samsung will produce leading-edge system-on-chips for Apple.
According to The Korea Economic Daily, the only Apple chip to be produced by TSMC will be Apple A8 in 2014, which will be made using 20nm process technology. Nonetheless, the Apple A9 application processor to be made using 14nm FinFET manufacturing process in 2015 will be made by Samsung Semiconductor, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics.
A source with knowledge of the matter apparently revealed the Korea Economic Daily that Apple and Samsung have signed a secret contract, under which the latter will produce Apple A9 chip for Apple iPhone 7 smartphone due in in the second half of 2015. Specifications of the application processor are unknown.
Although Apple and Samsung remain manufacturing partners, they are competing for the dominance on the markets of smartphones and tablets. As a result of numerous patent-related legal disputes, Apple started to reduce its orders to Samsung Electronics and contracted TSMC to make its next-gen A8 SoC. Nonetheless, it looks like Samsung remains a preferable manufacturing partner for Apple.
Apple, Samsung and TSMC did not comment on the news-story.