Turns out Apple has already signed a contract with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) to manufacture the A6X chip that currently drives the iPad 4. According to Taiwan’s Commercial Times (via 9to5mac), the trial production will start in the first quarter of this year.
This move has been rumoured for the past few months and, as sources highlight, it will indeed materialize, starting with the first months of this year. Apple has been Samsung’s biggest customer, but the fight over intellectual property and market share has resulted in their relationship turning from love-hate to hate-hate.
As we previously reported, this move sent shockwaves through the tech industry with TSMC customers being concerned as to whether the manufacturer could satisfy their needs as well. However, the trial production taking place in the near future will show whether the world’s largest dedicated independent semiconductor manufacturer can keep up with Apple’s and other client’s demand.
Apple’s move to contract TSMC is an expected move, yet the question of how this move will affect Samsung’s business still remains. As Asymco and Digitimes point out, it won’t really hurt the South Korean manufacturer, but freeing 70% of its production capacity doesn’t necessarily mean Samsung will replace it with in-house mobile handset production.