Apple will soon use Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company for its iPhone and iPad processors according to an AFP report.
TSMC will first produce a trial run of A6X processors for the current iPad fourth generation in the first quarter of 2013. Apple may use TSMC more for its processors if the trial run is successful. The Taiwanese company may become to main manufacturer of processors for Apple, or at least one of the major manufacturers.
Apple and Samsung are currently involved in a number of legal disputes across the globe. In the recent U.S. case the court found that Samsung infringed several Apple patents. The court ordered Samsung to pay $1.05 billion to Apple for its infringing devices. Samsung appealed that case, so the decision and amount of money owed could change.
Samsung technically breaks each part of its company into smaller companies so Samsung Electronics, which handles much of the manufacturing of chips such as processors, is not the same company of Samsung Mobile. It seems that doesn’t matter much to Apple, however, as this move to TMSC shows the company seems to want to leave Samsung partnerships behind.
For users the change in processor manufacturers shouldn’t change anything. TMSC will use the same plans for building Apple’s processors as Samsung, and the chips should perform similarly no matter which factory they come out of.
If there’s any downside for U.S. Apple fans it’s that Samsung builds its processors for iOS devices in the U.S. The factories for the chips are in Texas. Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company doesn’t have the same factories in the U.S., which means that could be one less iOS device part that’s made in the U.S.
Apple is working to build more devices in the U.S., and the current rumor is that it will build new Mac minis in its home country.