The iPhone 6 isn’t even out yet, and already we have to hear rumors about the iPhone 7. This week the Economic Times is reporting that Apple In. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has selected Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) to manufacture the chips for the iPhone 7.
iPhone 6 chips made by TSMC
This does seem a bit odd, as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (NYSE:TSM) was said to have secured the contract to manufacture the iPhone 6 chips. However, the Economic Daily News cites unnamed industry sources who say that Samsung has indeed been granted the contract to make the iPhone 7 chips.
Samsung had been Apple’s iPhone chip manufacturer for years, making the A4 through A7 chips. The A8 chip, which is in the iPhone 5S, is being made by TSMC. As a result, it’s worth asking why Apple would switch back to its rival Samsung so quickly after switching to TSMC. As DigiTimes reported last month, however, Samsung seems to have already set its foundries up to make 14 nanometer chips. Apple is said to be planning to use 14 nanometer chips in the iPhone 7. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that the iPhone 6 chips are 20 nanometer chips.
Rumors about the iPhone 7
Believe it or not, the chips aren’t the only type of rumor about the iPhone 7 that is making its way through the technology community. As Mac World reports, there’s debate about whether next year’s iPhone will actually be the iPhone 6S. This is a speculation we have had to deal with for years as people guess whether Apple will skip over the S designation and go straight to the next number. Some believe the S designation is seen negatively because it doesn’t suggest that the new iPhone model is much of an upgrade from the previous year’s model.
In terms of features, it would help immensely if we knew what the iPhone 6 will bring. However, that isn’t keeping people from taking a stab at it. Of course these speculations are basically in the realm of an upgrade here and a tweak here in typical Apple fashion. Mac World actually suggests the iPhone 7 could be thicker than the iPhone 6 and possible feature a wraparound display, which Apple described in a patent at one point, referring to such a display as having “sidewall displays.”
Other suggested iPhone 7 features include facial recognition to unlock it, a much larger Touch ID fingerprint scanner that’s actually in the smartphone’s display, and a lack of a home button.