According to a report by ET News from South Korea, Samsung could yet become an option for Apple as a supplier for its “A12” chips to be used in the 2018 version of iPhone.
Currently, Apple uses the A10 Fusion chip supplied by TSMC, and the same company has mostly provided Apple with iPhone CPU chips since iPhone 6 in 2014. Even this year, when the biggest iPhone upgrade in recent years is rumored to be launched, TSMC is again the exclusive manufacturer of the “A11” CPU to be used with iPhone 8, as it is being referred to in rumors.
Samsung remains a major supplier for Apple, including the OLED display panels for this year’s iPhone. But that doesn’t mean Apple would be turning to Samsung to provide the CPU chips for iPhone, as its last experience with Samsung chips in iPhone 6S was not entirely satisfactory. However, an increase in demand could force Apple’s hand next year to turn to Samsung for making the A12 chip, and Samsung would be well-prepared to handle that possibility as it is investing in its 7nm production facilities, to be opened in early 2018
The timing of the opening of those production lines could not have been sweeter, as it would be around the period that Apple requires supply in increased quantity for its iPhone CPUs. So while Samsung and Apple remain major competitors embroiled in battle over several products, their supplier-client relationship could become even more tightly-knit.
While Samsung investing heavily in its 7nm production facilities doesn’t necessarily mean that Apple would be approaching the South Korean tech giant for A12 CPU supply, but if the Cupertino company feels the need to do so, as an alternative to TSMC or simply a supplementary option, then it would find that Samsung is more than capable of handling the task.