Chips Stories April 21, 2016

AAPL: 105.97

-1.16

Bloomberg reports that Qualcomm shares have dropped after the company’s CEO hinted that its biggest customer could switch to a rival supplier for future orders. Reading between the lines, the speculation is that its biggest customer is Apple (Samsung is the only other company close to holding that title) and that a switch to Qualcomm’s rival means Apple’s is considering Intel for LTE modem chips in the iPhone 7:

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Chips Stories February 18, 2016

AAPL: 96.26

-1.86

Bloomberg profile of Apple’s ‘chief chipmaker’ – SVP of hardware technologies Johny Srouji – talks about how the iPad Pro was launched behind schedule, and almost ended up being less powerful than the iPhone 6s.

The original plan was to introduce the iPad Pro with Apple’s tablet chip, the A8X, the same processor that powered the iPad Air 2, introduced in 2014. But delaying until fall meant that the Pro would make its debut alongside the iPhone 6s, which was going to use a newer, faster phone chip called the A9 […]

The iPad Pro would look feeble next to the iPhone 6s. So Srouji put his engineers on a crash program to move up the rollout of a new tablet processor, the A9X, by half a year.

While the piece predictably doesn’t reveal much we didn’t already know, it does contain one surprising fun fact about the original iPhone …

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The best 4K & 5K displays for Mac

Chips Stories December 10, 2015

AAPL: 116.17

0.55

It’s not too surprising that Apple’s new iPhone 6s Smart Case isn’t made to be easily opened for repairs. To get inside for its usual teardown routine, iFixit had to peel off the soft lining of the case by heating up the adhesive. It then had to remove three proprietary Apple screws to remove a metal reinforcement plate and get at the battery itself. So while you likely won’t be able to repair your new Smart Case without destroying it, we do get a look inside of the new product thanks to iFixit’s willingness to do so… expand full story

Chips Stories October 14, 2015

AAPL: 110.21

-1.58

Two key Apple suppliers fighting for control of Taiwanese chip company – billions at stake, say analysts

The WSJ reports that Foxconn and the world’s largest chip assembler, Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE), are fighting for control of the number three company in the chip assembly business, SPIL. ASE assembles chips used in the Apple Watch, while SPIL last year started supplying chips for iPhones.

ASE had planned to take a controlling interest in SPIL in order to protect its market-leading position and remain one jump ahead of competitors. Key iPhone assembly company Foxconn, however, persuaded the company that it would do better by collaborating with the Chinese firm in order to win more of Apple’s business.

SPIL shareholders will vote on the proposed deal with Foxconn tomorrow. Although ASE had already bought some shares in the company, it did so too late to qualify for vote, so has instead sent a letter to other SPIL shareholders urging them to vote against the motion.

All three companies are competing for system-in-package (SiP) orders from Apple, which analysts say will be worth billions of dollars.

There is huge competition for Apple’s business among chip manufacturers and assemblers, with Apple reportedly playing off Samsung and TSMC against each other in order to squeeze out last-minute price cuts for the A9 chip. Samsung’s recent return to profit was attributed to the chips it supplies to Apple.

Chips Stories August 14, 2015

AAPL: 115.96

0.81

Less than a month from now, Apple is expected to officially unveil its new A9 chip. This will be the ninth A-Series processor including the original A4, which powered the first iPad, iPhone 4, fourth-generation iPod touch, and second-generation Apple TV. It’s hard to overstate the importance of the A-series chips to Apple’s devices, as they’ve helped the company to achieve everything from major processing leaps to impressive power efficiency and — often taken for granted — guaranteed UI smoothness for every year’s newly-launched devices.

With the iPhone 6S just around the corner, we’ve started to receive tips purporting to reveal how much better the A9 will perform than the A8 processors found in the latest iPhones, iPad Air 2, and iPod touch. While we wouldn’t characterize the numbers we’ve seen as reliable, they led us to look back at the history of A-series chips, and consider what can reasonably be expected from the A9. Read on for our thoughts…

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Chips Stories February 23, 2015

A8

While Apple has notably been engaged in a back-and-forth poaching war with electric vehicle maker Tesla in recent months, a new report from The Korea Times claims that Apple has also been targeting “experts in next-generation technology” from Samsung Electronics. Citing an anonymous official from Samsung, the report highlights that the iPhone maker has a history of picking off chip experts from the Korean company using competitive compensation and “greater independence” as engineers. expand full story

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