In the latest sign that their nasty legal battle is straining their business relationship, a report suggests that Apple is looking to drop Samsung as a chip supplier in 2013. First came rumours that Apple would shift iPad and MacBook battery production from Samsung to Amperex Technology and Tianjin Lishen Battery. Now comes word from Digitimes that Apple is also looking to drop Samsung as its custom ARM-based chip supplier in favour of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacture Company (TSMC) in 2013.
Company chairman and CEO Morris Chang recently hinted that TSMC could dedicate one or even two whole fabs to a single customer, leading to speculation that this would be none other than Apple. With Apple needing some 200 million processors for its iPads and iPhones, TSMC would need at least 200,000 12-inch wafers just to meet that demand.
The report is also causing concern among TSMC’s current customers which include Altera, Qualcomm and Nvidia. For example, TSMC struggled with supply issues for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 chipset in 2012. It remains to be seen if TSMC could manage the additional orders without impacting other customers any further.
Read more: Digitimes