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Samsung will now fill the void by making chips for the likes of Qualcomm and even for its own products

If Apple and Samsung's turbulent relationship was made into a soap opera, this episode would feature continued separation between the two and Apple's "other lover."

Apple recently signed a new supply deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) for iPhone and iPad chips. These orders from Apple will reportedly account for 8 percent of TSMC's 2014 total revenue if Apple buys 30 percent of its chips there, according to Credit Suisse analysts.

If Apple bumps this up to 60 percent in 2015, it will make up 15 percent of TSMC's revenue for that year. 

Apple has been distancing itself from Samsung due to competition between Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Android-powered smartphones (such as the Galaxy line). The two have also had an ugly patent war that has soured relations over the years.

Apple's new deal with TSMC isn't great news for Samsung, but it will likely fill the void by making chips for the likes of Qualcomm and even for its own products. 


[Image Source: Nerd Array]

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) back in January, Samsung's President of LSI business Stephen Woo said that it's crucial for the South Korean electronics maker to focus on alternatives to Apple when it comes to the chip sector. In fact, Samsung has been supplying Exynos quad-core chips to Chinese smartphone company Meizu and also to Lenovo's K860 LePhone.

According to Goldman Sachs, Apple will purchase about $8.8 billion USD worth of chips from Samsung this year, which is about 80 percent of Apple's allowance for processors, memory chips and screens. But Apple is expected to move 30 percent of its business away from Samsung next year and about 80 percent by 2017.

It's unlikely that Apple will give all of its chips business to TSMC, since it doesn't want to put all of its eggs in one basket. TSMC will begin supplying the processors in early 2014. 

Chips aren't the only hardware Apple and Samsung are phasing out in their relationship. Samsung Display, which has provided Apple with liquid crystal display (LCD) panels for its iPhones and iPads over the years, officially severed its contract with the iDevice maker last fall. Samsung cited cost as the main issue, since Apple has started using Samsung competitors with better prices for displays. Hence, Apple was expecting bigger discounts from Samsung. 

Sources: The Wall Street Journal, Market Watch



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RE: Apple is 83% of Samsung's Fab Business
By UpSpin on 7/1/2013 3:10:39 PM , Rating: 5
Most probably those 83% are one reason that Samsung doesn't ship all of their Galaxy smartphones with their own Exynos SoCs, but part of them with Qualcomm SoCs, because the own fab ressources are occupied by Apple and not available for Exynos production.

So what I expect is that we'll see more Exynos SoCs used in Samsung products and the rest, if there is some at all, will get filled by nVidia and Qualcomm most probably, which will be probably more than happy to finally also get access to Samsungs fabs.

Because Samsung is magnitudes larger and more diverse than Apple I wouldn't be too concerned about Samsung. One poor year in their fabs, if it happens at all, won't be an issue for them.
However if TSMC can't deliver top notch technology for Apple, then Apple has some serious issues in keeping up with the competition, like Samsung.


By Johnmcl7 on 7/1/2013 6:52:51 PM , Rating: 2
You're quite right about Qualcomm which Samsung seem to be using in the bulk of S4's at the moment, they've also used a Novatech Soc in the Galaxy S3 Mini (and possibly others) and a Broadcomm SoC in the Galaxy S2 Plus. It seems odd to be using rival SoCs in large volumes when you have your own fabs even though it apparently works out better that way for the LTE modem but if they can put the resources they've freed up from not producing Apple chips into their own then it could work out fine for them.

John


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