Feeds

Samsung and Apple finally divorcing after years of court battles

TSMC slips comforting arm round Apple, slips memory chip into pocket

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Apple has signed a deal with a new chip manufacturer which could see its troubled relationship with Samsung finally brought to an end.

Cupertino has reportedly inked an agreement with the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) which will eventually see it take over full production of mobile processors for all iOS gizmos.

Currently, Apple is stuck in an unhappy marriage with Samsung, which is still the fruity firm's main chip supplier. The pair have been at each other's throats since 2011, fighting an interminable series of patent infringement legal battles in courts around the world. The tit-for-tat lawsuits hinged upon squabbles over key parts of the firms' smartphone software and hardware.

Apple and TSMC have reportedly been in discussions since 2010, but haven't been able to sign on the dotted line because TSMC reportedly refused requests by Apple to invest in the firm, or to dedicate a facility to producing Apple components.

Cupertino-watchers claim that Apple has been trying to arrange a divorce from Samsung for some time. However, like all break-ups, nothing's happening straight away and it looks as if Samsung will be making Apple's chips for at least a year to come.

Credit Suisse analyst Randy Abrams claimed Apple would account for about 8 per cent of TSMC's total revenue. Cupertino would be an "important new leading-edge" customer, he said. This could rise to 15 percent in 2015, Abrams continued.

So what of the spurned partner Samsung? Well, aside from continuing a patent-infringement battle against its former ally, the South Korean firm will probably begin bashing out chips for other companies, while still giving Apple DRAM and NAND chips for its iOS devices – at least in the short term.

Its margins are thought to be lower on processor chips than on memory chips. This margin will be even tighter when Apple stops buying processors, meaning Samsung will be on the look out for new customers.

TSMC is the world's largest manufacturer of chips, if taken by revenue, and is based in Taiwan, which is prone to earthquakes and theoretically vulnerable to a physical Chinese attack, as Beijing still counts Taiwan as a rogue breakaway state. However, it already operates plants in Singapore and Shanghai, as well as Washington state.

The firm is also said to be building another plant in the US, which chimes with Apple's stated policy of trying to build complete products within American borders. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.