The Apple vs Samsung legal debacle is one of the most debated legal cases of this year, at least in this particular niche. Both of the companies, with very deep pockets mind you, have sued and counter sued each other in a number of countries. Both companies have received verdicts which have been favorable and unfavorable for them. The battle still wages on as verdicts are quickly appealed by the hordes of lawyers both companies have at their disposal.
Apple and Samsung have a relationship of ambivalence. While Apple continuously says that Samsung products infringe upon its patents, it pays billions of dollars to the latter as it happens to be the primary mobile chip manufacturer for devices such as iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Recent reports have indicated that Apple is looking to change that.
Apple is reportedly rushing plans to get TSMC on board as a mobile chip manufacturer. It has been reported multiple times that Apple has been in talks with this company, but has not officially brought it on board just yet. Initially TSMC will supplement production of mobile chips as getting rid of Samsung all together will cause a huge gap in the supply chain.
Moreover it has also been reported that Apple is in talks with Intel, offering it a substantial piece of the lucrative mobile chip pie. If this move takes place, Apple will very well do away with Samsung for good because Intel is a giant when it comes to chip manufacturing and will be able to cope up with phenomenal manufacturing demands, something which TSMC will reportedly not be able to handle.
Taipei Times reports that Apple is looking to get production started as soon as Q2 2013 using TSMC’s fabrication facility based on the 28-nanometer process. This is a shift from Apple’s previous views on the 20nm node. Reports indicate that TSMC’s major buyers such as Qualcomm and Nvidia are going to be upset if this deal with Apple goes through. Apple made a $1 billion offer to TSMC for exclusive use of its production facility but the latter declined with the company’s finance chief adding that they did not want to sell a part of the company and neither are they seeking cash for investment.
One thing is for sure though, Apple does not want to continue getting its mobile chips manufactured by Samsung. In the future we are likely to see Intel and TSMC fulfill Apple’s requirements. We can’t be certain though until all the details have been finalized.