So you thought Apple’s done with Samsung? Well, new evidence says the two rival companies are far from finished as far as their business relationship goes. A new report by Nikkei Electronics, spotted by CNET, shows a Samsung-made A7 chipset inside the iPhone 5s and the new iPads – iPad Air and iPad mini Retina. The 5s is the first consumer smartphone with a 64-bit chip and it’s made using Samsung's latest production processes. A protracted legal battle between the two company, it seems, has had little effect on their business arrangements.
Earlier this year, we reported about how Apple has cut ties with Samsung and will be going to TSMC to get its custom chips fabricated, in addition to other manufacturing partners. This was largely due to the long-drawn patent battle in the United States, among other countries, between the two companies.
Apple's custom A7 chipset is made by Samsung (Image credit: imore.com)
The Samsung-made A7 is manufactured using a 28nm process, a step up from the 32nm process used in the Apple A6, also made by the Korean company and used in the Apple iPhone 5. The A7 has a dual-core CPU and a quad-core GPU, based on Imagination Technologies’ design. Earlier analysis by Chipworks also confirmed to a certain extent that it is a Samsung-made A7 running inside the latest Apple flagship smartphone.
While this does not exactly indicate that Apple will continue using Samsung-made chips in future devices, it does highlight how much control Samsung exerts over the smartphone market and even the production of components. Apple may want to cut ties as soon as it can, but moving away from the established order of things will take more time than the company would like to admit. Perhaps by the time the iPhone 6 rolls around, we might have a chipset inside an iPhone that's not made by Samsung.