Apple lessens reliance on Samsung with A6 processor

Mon, Oct 15, 2012


It’s no secret that Apple likes to control as much of the technology that goes into its products as possible. This need for control is further exacerbated when Apple finds itself uncomfortably reliant upon a competitors technology. Most recently, we saw Apple completely remove all Google products from the iOS homescreen when iOS 6 shipped without a YouTube app and without Google Maps.

As it stands now, Apple remains embroiled in a number of legal battles with Samsung in various jurisdictions around the world. And of course, you might remember that Apple this past Summer won a $1.05 billion judgement at trial from the Korean-based electronics giant. But Apple’s relationship with Samsung is tricky due to the fact that the latter supplies Apple with a number of components used in its iOS devices.

That said, Apple is reportedly trying to move away from its reliance on Samsung, a fact highlighted in a recent report from the Korea Times which claims that Apple did use any of Samsung’s technology in the development of the A6 chip found in the iPhone 5, merely using Samsung to manufacturer the microprocessor.

Apple is still relying on the Korean firm to manufacture its chips but has made it clear it will no longer use its rival’s technology, according to a senior Samsung official.

“Samsung’s agreement with Apple is limited to manufacturing the A6 processors. Apple did all the design and we are just producing the chips on a foundry basis,’’ he said on the sidelines of a technology fair at KINTEX in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province.

This of course represents a fundamental shift in the relationship Apple and Samsung previously had with each other. Remember that Samsung, up until the A6, played an important role in the design of Apple’s fleet of A-based processors.

The Samsung source quoted by the Korea Times went on to point out that “There are three kinds of chip clients. Some want us to handle everything from chip design, architecture and manufacturing. Some want us to just design and manufacture. Some want us to just make the chips. Apple is now the third type.”

Looking ahead, it’s been reported that Apple’s next-gen A7 processor will be manufactured by TSMC.

Of course, it was also reported that the A6 would be manufactured by TSMC, so you might want to take that with a grain of salt. One thing is clear though, Apple is certainly working hard to move away from Samsung as best it can


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