Corroborating a Digitimes report from earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has finally struck a deal with chip producer TSMC for future iOS devices. The report says that the two firms inked the deal earlier this month, but the collaboration will only likely come into affect in 2014. With Apple’s development of new iPads and iPhones for late 2013 well under-way, TSMC-built chips will only likely be found in Apple’s iPhones and iPads to follow the upcoming iPhone 5S, new low-cost iPhone, and new iPads.
While this deal will not push Samsung’s chip production completely out of Apple’s field-of-view, it will let the Cupertino Mac and iPhone maker reduce its reliance on the business of its fiercest competitor. The WSJ also corroborates numerous reports by saying that Apple has moved, in recent years, away from Samsung for the screens that are fit on the front-faces of iOS devices and NAND chips that store files. The WSJ shares that Apple and TSMC have been working on partnership possibilities for a number of years:
iPad Air 2
As early as 2010, Apple and TSMC started discussing working together to build the chips, say the TSMC executives. In 2011, TSMC senior executive Chiang Shang-yi met Apple officials to discuss collaborating on the complex process. Apple asked to invest in TSMC, or to have TSMC set aside factory space dedicated to Apple chips, the executives say. TSMC Chairman Morris Chang rejected both requests because the company wanted to maintain its independence and manufacturing flexibility, the executives say. TSMC plans to start mass-producing the chips early next year using advanced “20-nanometer” technology, which makes the chips potentially smaller and more energy-efficient.