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WSJ: Apple signs with Samsung for 2015 chip deal

updated 06:58 am EDT, Mon July 15, 2013

Apple, Samsung sign new chip deal for Apple A9-series chips

Apple's on-again-off-again relationship with Samsung continues with a Korea Economic Daily news report that it has signed with its consumer electronics archenemy for a new chip fabrication deal for 2015. The news follows a recent report that Apple had also signed with TMSC on a three-year chip fabrication deal beginning in 2014, which led many to believe that Apple had dropped Samsung as a chip supplier permanently. The deal is said to have been struck as Samsung is transitioning to the more sophisticated 14nm fabrication process faster than TSMC, better aligning with Apple's plans for its future A9 chip designs.

"Samsung Electronics had supplied the application processor [AP] to Apple since 2007 but lost the contract to supply 20 nano AP A8 chips to Apple to Taiwan's TSMC last year when it was engaged in patent disputes with Apple," reports the Economic Daily. "Samsung Electronics developed state-of-the-art 14 nano models ahead of its rival TSMC, regaining the order from Apple," the Economic Daily explains."

The two tech titans remain locked in ongoing legal battles in courts around the globe, with both claiming patent infringement with mixed results so far. As a consequence, Apple has been making clear moves to switch parts suppliers where it has been feasible to do so, hurting Samsung's overall bottom line. Samsung's conglomerate is made up of numerous business entities straddling the technology sector. In addition to making consumer electronics devices, a significant portion of its business is also as a electronics component supplier.

Even with the apparent switch back to Samsung because of a technological, thus competitive advantage, it seems likely that Apple's deal with TSMC will see it continue to spread its chip business elsewhere where it can. Regardless, it remains a significant win for Samsung as it has managed to regain a slice of Apple's massive components orders. At the same it has still lost a significant portion of Apple's chip business that it would have likely otherwise retained if not for their legal wrangles. [via Macrumors]

by MacNN Staff



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