Even though Apple has reportedly tried to keep out Samsung out of its iPhone and iPad supply chain, The Korea Times seems to indicate Apple needs Samsung more than ever for future iPhone and iPad production. The publication reports that Samsung has struck a deal worth “billions of dollars” with Apple to mass-produce chips required for future-generation iPhone and iPad models.
Apparently, Samsung will become the main supplier for iPhone and iPad A-branded chips, pushing TSMC into the No.2 spot in coming years — the Taiwanese chipmaker has been Apple’s main source for iPhone 6 chips this year.
According to the report, Samsung will make some 80% of the processors that’ll be used in Apple mobile devices starting with 2016, although the company has not confirmed anything on the matter.
At Samsung’s most recent quarterly earnings call, the company said it’s already producing sample 14-nanometer chips for an unidentified customer. Meanwhile, TSMC is going to mass-produce 16-nanometer FinFET chips that aren’t as efficient as Samsung’s latest mobile chips technology.
“Apple has designated Samsung as the primary supplier of its next A-series chips powering iOS devices from 2016 as the alliance with GlobalFoundries (GF) enabled Samsung to cut off capacity risk,” a source familiar with the deal told The Korea Times.
For Samsung, this might be a very important deal, as the company is looking to improve its performance and make up for lost profits in the mobile business. In addition to making chips for Apple, Samsung could also win orders for Qualcomm, NVIDIA, Sony and other companies.