A new set of iPhone 6 rumors claims Apple is further cutting ties with Samsung, and could save the rumored Apple A7 processor for the iPhone 6.
The iPhone 6 is a possible name for Apple’s next, next iPhone — one that could launch in 2014 with a new design and many more features than the iPhone 5S which is rumored for a summer launch.
The latest rumors build on the growing conflict between Samsung and Apple in the wake of a long legal battle and point to an iPhone that is as close to Samsung-free as possible.
Apple Cutting Ties for iPhone 6?
Samsung makes the Apple A series processors found in the iPhone and iPad, including the iPhone 5 A6 processor and the iPad 4′s A6X processor.
This latest rumor claims Apple is planning to move the Apple A7 processor production to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, a Taiwanese company, when the contract expires. This report claims Apple is planning a smaller 20-nanometer Apple A7 processor for 2014.
Earlier rumors claimed Apple is moving part of the Apple A7 processor production to TSMC in 2014. This previous report also claimed Intel would be tapped to work on 10% of the demand for these A7 chips and that Samsung would handle 50% of the production. The delay of TSMC production is reportedly due to ramping up for the new processor.
iPhone 5S or iPhone 6
This new rumor does raise some questions about the next two iPhone models, devices that Steve Jobs reportedly influenced.
This new report claims that Samsung will not produce the Apple A7 processor, and that it is destined for 2014 production by TSMC, which would put the Apple A7 processor in the iPhone 6.
Earlier rumors, including insight from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims the iPhone 5S will see the Apple A7 processor as part of the minimal updates to the next iPhone.
One possibility is that the rumors are correct about the shift away from Samsung, but that the chip is actually a farther out version of the Apple A processor series, possibly an Apple A8 chip. The other possibility is that Apple is planning an Apple A6X chip or some other revamped processor for the iPhone 5S.
An iPhone with Less Samsung
As Apple started to see Samsung as a competitor in the smartphone arena, rather than a partner, Apple started the shift away from reliance on Samsung.
According to the infographic below, from the Economist, the iPhone 4 used Samsung for the flash memory, RAM and the Apple A processor. This represented a large portion of the cost of the iPhone at the time. The chart also highlight the growth Samsung made in marketshare from 2010 to 2011, when the rivalry heated up more.
In addition to the processor, Apple is reportedly severing ties with Samsung Display for several mobile products such as the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2. Though a later report claims Samsung is making an attempt to gain a role in making displays for the rumored iPad 5.
In 2012, Apple reportedly cut back orders for RAM and flash memory to continue the severing of ties between the two companies. This report is backed by a similar claim from Bloomberg, which also reports that Apple skipped Samsung in the initial batch of iPhone 5 displays. Going even further, Apple reportedly skipped over Samsung for the iPhone 5 battery, tapping Sanyo to make the component.
The iPhone 5S is expected in 2013, while the iPhone 6 is rumored as Apple’s next major redesigned iPhone. The iPhone 6 may feature wireless charging and other features that don’t make the cut with the next iPhone.