updated 01:40 pm EST, Wed March 5, 2014
Manufacturer allegedly has 'most' orders for logic/power chips
Taiwanese supplier TSMC has already begun manufacturing chips for the next iPhone, claims supply chain sources for a local publication, the Commercial Times. The company is said to have won "most" of the orders for logic and power management chips in the new device. The exact nature of the chips is left vague by the Times, but a Taiwanese website, TechNews, is claiming that TSMC will become the exclusive manufacturer of Apple's upcoming A8 processor.
Apple has been gradually distancing itself from using Samsung as a supplier, owing to the patent battles still being fought between the two companies. Samsung is, however, currently the only company manufacturing A-series chips, and any firm planning to take over that contract must be able to match the same scale. A number of reports have pointed to a Samsung/TSMC shift in the past, but the Times' is the first to suggest that TSMC is already at work.
It's uncertain when the next iPhone will ship. The Times suggests it could happen as soon early into the third quarter, but since the iPhone 4S Apple has stuck to a September/October timeframe.