Apple has taken another step away from Samsung by allegedly signing an agreement with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. for future chips. According to the WSJ, who reportedly spoke with a TSMC exec, Apple has enlisted the Taiwanese company to build its next-gen 20nm A-series SoCs for upcoming iPhone and iPad models; the chips promise better battery life. Above all, they pave the way for a Samsung-less future. Samsung will still remain Apple's main supplier in 2013, but the move is a big statement of intention.
The WSJ claims talks between Apple and TSMC actually began back in 2010, though manufacturing and commitment issues kept the two from reaching an agreement. However, with everything seemingly solved, the two will start its partnership next year for future iOS devices. With Samsung and Apple two of the largest rivals on the market, the move makes a lot of sense; rumors Apple was looking elsewhere have been around for awhile now.
Even though the two are huge mobile enemies, Apple and Samsung have relied heavily on each other in the past. During their early partnership, Samsung played a big part in supplying components—screens, processor, etc.—to Apple devices, while that money made up a huge chunk of Samsung component sales. That was then, and this is now. TSMC is Apple's newest partner—hopefully the Taiwanese manufacturer can keep up with the kind of demand Apple expects.