Apple and Samsung have long been bitter rivals. The Korean company’s latest Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are giving some tough competition to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. But the foes are turning into friends now. If a report from Ian King of Bloomberg is to be believed, Samsung has signed a deal with Apple to supply main processor for the iPhone 7, as well as displays for other iDevices.
iPhone 7 could be a cash cow for Samsung
The Korean company is investing a staggering $14 billion in new plants and equipment to accommodate the Cupertino company. For the last several months, there have been rumors that Samsung will supply A9 chip for the iPhone 7. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told investors last month that Apple will skip the iPhone 6S to launch the iPhone 7 later this year.
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New orders for its chipmaking segment will help Samsung make up for the stagnating profit in the smartphone business. Apple chose Samsung probably because of its highly advanced 14nm FinFET technology that boosts processing power while consuming less battery. The Korean electronics giant uses the same technology in the Exynos 7420 processor that powers the latest Galaxy S6.
iPhone 7 to have a high-tech metal body
Apple’s new relationship with Samsung will have a significant impact on other component suppliers, especially Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co and SanDisk. TSMC made processor for previous versions of iPhones while SanDisk provided memory chips for Apple devices. Last month, SanDisk lowered its revenue forecast due to product delays and loss of customers (which likely included Apple).
Among other things, the iPhone 7 body is expected to be built using the same sturdy aluminum alloy used in Apple Watch Sport. The Series 7000 aluminum is about 60% stronger than the material used in the iPhone 6, but weighs only about a third of stainless steel. So, it will make the iPhone 7 light, stronger and slimmer. Apple has also won a patent for voice unlocking technology, but it is unclear whether this technology will appear in the next iPhone.