It’s no secret that Apple and Samsung share a somewhat thorny and complex relationship given that the two companies remain entangled in legal battles around the world at the same time that Samsung manufactures all of the chips used in Apple’s lineup of iOS devices.
That said, it’s been rumored for quite some time that Apple is doing all it can to shift away production from Samsung and to the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) instead. Indeed, if you look back at old news reports, it was widely assumed that A6 production for Apple’s current lineup of iOS devices would be handled by TSMC, though that never actually proved to be the case.
Now, AFP is reporting that TSMC will, in fact, soon begin manufacturing chips for Apple’s mobile devices and that trial production has already begun.
The Taiwanese company has been contracted to manufacture the A6X chip, which drives Apple’s iPad4 tablet, with trial production set for the first quarter of this year, Taiwan’s Commercial Times reported.
The move is the latest in a strings of efforts by Apple to switch mass manufacturing contracts away from Samsung, it said.
It remains to be seen how long it will take, if at all, for Apple to completely end its reliance on Samsung. And from the other side of the ball, Samsung will definitely not want to lose Apple’s business. To put things into context, in 2010 Apple’s business dealings with Samsung contributed $6 billion to Samsung’s bottom line.