Apple recently launched the iPhone 4S. The device features a dual-core A5 chip which, although designed in-house, is manufactured by Samsung. The A5 is but the latest chapter in a longstanding partnership worth billions. Given the increasing rivalry between the two companies, this partnership is beginning to look less and less sustainable by the day, with a raft of recent reports even claiming that the A5 inside the 4S marks the the end of the buyer-supplier relationship. The Korea Times, though, does not think so.
Industry sources have told the Korean paper that they do not expect the ever expanding patent war between the two rivals to get in the way of their buyer-supplier relationship - said to be worth $8 billion in 2011 alone. This is contrary to earlier reports that claimed Apple was going to replace Samsung with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) for the production of A5’s successor.
``Apple has been in talks with Samsung over shipment of its A6 quad-core mobile processor (AP) chips to be used in the next iPhone,” an unnamed executive from a Korea-based Apple parts supplier told the paper. “It appears that Apple clearly has concluded that Samsung remains a critical business partner.”
``Samsung Electronics will apply its advanced 28-nanometer processing technology to produce qualified A6 mobile APs. TSMC will provide customized chips with designs from Apple, however, the volume will be very small.”