When the iPhone 6 comes out next year, it is expected to feature Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s next generation A8 chip, but which company is going to be tasked with making it? We’ve got conflicting reports on that this week, and it looks like production may end up being split between two companies.
Apple pushing to TSMC for iPhone 6 chips
The most recent report comes from the Korean newspaper Hankyung (via DigiTimes). The media outlets report that most of the chip making for the iPhone 6’s A8 chips will be done by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (NYSE:TSM). However, as 9to5 Mac reports, this is the fourth consecutive year that DigiTimes has reported that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was shifting from Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) to TSMC for its A-series chips. So will this be the fourth time the newspaper is wrong about this?
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We heard earlier this year (once again, from DigiTimes) that Apple had inked a deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (NYSE:TSM) to make the chips for the iPhone 6. Today the site reports that TSMC will handle 60 to 70 percent of the manufacturing of the chips, with Samsung handling the other 30 to 40 percent.
Will Apple ever be able to cut Samsung off?
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been forced to rely on Samsung for quite some time, in spite of the severely strained relationship between the two companies, which has been marred by patent battles in courtrooms around the world. It has apparently been working on diversifying its supply chain for some time, but to what extent this diversification will be complete in time for production of the iPhone 6 remains to be seen.
One of the reasons Apple has to rely on Samsung is because it has the capacity to fulfill Apple’s large orders. TSMC has apparently been having yield problems, as The Korea Economic Daily reports that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) wanted the company to be the sole supplier of its iPhone 6 chips, thus cutting Samsung out of the production process completely.