Apple reportedly signs Samsung for next-gen iPhone chips

Apple and Samsung’s relationship is apparently not so strained as to prevent the South Korean electronics from providing the chips that will reportedly power future iPhones.

Samsung will supply Apple with A9 chips based on a 14-nanometer process node starting in 2015, the Korea Economic Daily reported Monday. The chip would go into production in 2015 and power an iPhone theoretically dubbed ther “iPhone 7” that could be released in the latter half of 2015, according to the report.

The report comes just a few weeks after another news agency reported that Apple and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company had reached a 3-year deal for development of Apple’s A series chips, extending all the way to silicon called the A9.

CNET has contacted Apple and Samsung for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

To date, Samsung has been the exclusive manufacturer of Apple’s A series processors for its iOS devices — including the current A6 chip. But Apple had reportedly been reducing its chip orders to the South Korean electronics giant for its next-generation iPhone as it tried to diversify its supply lines reduce its dependence on its legal foe and competitor.

Apple reportedly tried to secure exclusive access to TSMC smartphone chips by making an investment offersin the custom chip maker in excess of $1 billion. The cash would have assured Apple that production would have been reserved for its products, but the bid — along with a similar one from Qualcomm — rejected, Bloomberg reported last month.

Apple is also reportedly exploring a possible deal with chipmaker Globalfoundries to produce future chips, giving the company the kind of control over both design and chip manufacturing that Intel has. However, a semiconductor industry source told CNET that Apple and Globalfoundries were “kicking the tires,” but that “by no means” is any firm deal imminent at this point.


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