For years we’ve heard rumors that Apple planned to cut ties with Samsung, but until recently Cupertino still relied on its South Korean rival to produce the processors that power its smartphones and tablets. That may finally change with the iPhone 6 and its rumored A8 chip, which is being manufactured exclusively by the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal.
Samsung is having a tough year overall thanks to increased competition and slumping sales, and losing Apple’s business could be a real problem. WSJ also notes that the company is seeing less interest in its System LSI logic chips, while its Exynos processor lineup hasn’t really caught on either. The Galaxy-maker is feeling pressure on both sides as Apple prepares to unleash its new iPhone and Chinese manufacturers like Xiaomi push into the low-end market.
There may be a bit of light at the end of the tunnel though, at least according to a report from Economic Daily News. The Chinese site claims Samsung is already locked in a contract to produce the A9 chips Apple will use for the next-generation smartphone it releases in 2015, presumably called the iPhone 7. The news also lines up with an earlier report from DigiTimes published earlier this month.
It’s way too soon to know which company will produce the chips used in the iPhone 7, or even the iPhone 6, but Apple’s decision could have a big impact on the rest of the industry. If Cupertino can finally cut ties with Samsung it might be enough to reverse the South Korean titan’s hold on the smartphone market.