Apple Taps TSMC to Build A6X Chips, Shoves Samsung Aside
TSMC will begin trial production of the A6X processor in the first quarter of this year, French news agency AFP reports. Assuming the trial goes well, it's likely Samsung will be removed from the equation altogether. Quite frankly, it's a bit surprising that it's taken this long for Apple to squeeze Samsung out, given their contentious relationship.
Apple in 2012 scored a major patent victory against Samsung in the U.S. and was awarded $1.05 billion in damages. Samsung was essentially found guilty of copying the look and feel of Apple's iPhone and iPad devices in select Galaxy products.
Fortunately for Samsung, losing Apple as a customer might not be such a big blow to its business model as one would assume. It was recently reported that the potential loss of Apple's application processor (AP) orders wouldn't have a significant impact on Samsung's logic IC operations, as it would free up capacity for the company to build more chips for its own brand products. In order to fulfill all of Apple's chip orders, Samsung has had to outsource chip production for many of its entry-level and mainstream devices, limiting its own available capacity to high-end devices like the Galaxy S II, S II, and Note II.