The on-again, off-again relationship between Apple and Samsung is getting more complicated. In a deadly funny case of irony, 2015 might be the year the two companies rely on each other more than ever. Case in point: Re/code reports Apple is running to Samsung to produce its next-generation A9 chip.
Sources claim Apple’s A8 chip supplier, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), can’t quite match the manufacturing power of Samsung, putting Apple in the stickiest of situations. Apple obviously wants to continue evolving its Ax family of processors, but Samsung is the only company capable of matching the iPhone maker’s ambitions. The Korean company has found a way to shrink the size of transistors on its chips to 14 nanometers, which means more processing power in a smaller space. TSMC is behind at 20 nanometers.
Apple has used Samsung to manufacture its chips before, but the Cupertino company has worked tirelessly to break away from its reliance on one of its fiercest rivals. That’s why it went running to TSMC to bear some of the A8 brunt. Despite its best efforts, however, it doesn’t appear the relationship between Apple and Samsung will be called off anytime soon. If anything, it’s just going to get deeper; the kind of love/hate relationship you’d find among siblings.
It’s funny how the world works. Neither company has commented on Re/code’s report, and I don’t imagine that’ll change over the coming months. But remember: when the iPhone hits later this fall, it’ll likely be due in part to Samsung’s state-of-the-art manufacturing processes.