Will TSMC Become Apple’s Major Chipmaker in 2013?
Let’s face it – Apple and Samsung really does have the classic Love-Hate relationship when it comes to their venerable devices and each one will defend its right especially when billions of dollars at stake. Take, for instance, Apple’s victory last August where the court ordered Samsung to pay Apple a billion dollars for infringing on several of Apple’s patents for its iPhone.
This was a major triumph for Apple – and a great blow for Samsung – which didn’t do any good to temper the already strained and corroded link between the two industry giants.
Earlier this month, rumours has it that Samsung will be charging Apple more for its chips but these murmurings were quickly silenced when some unnamed Samsung official explained that the two companies agree on pricing on the year’s outset and that these pricing schemes remain mostly inflexible for the rest year until negotiations start again for incoming year.
And that time of the year is coming in very fast…
Perhaps this is the main reason behind this new development: that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will replace Samsung as Apple’s prime supplier for its processors.
We all know that Apple’s demand for processing chips is very high – running to 200 million chips annually – and would present a great business opportunity for any company that Apple decides to partner with. For Apple’s requirement alone, TSMC would need a minimum of 200,000 12-inch silicon wafers to produce the much-valued chips that power Apple’s iPhone and iPads.
Consequently, this development is causing a lot of stress on TSCM’s existing business partners who are afraid of being side-tracked once the deal between Apple and TSMC is consummated.
“TSMC’s advanced process offerings serve the world’s major fabless IC firms including Altera, Qualcomm and Nvidia. While being capable of providing sufficient capacity to Apple, TSMC also does not want to upset its existing major clients.”
In order for TSMC to serve Apple’s would be huge demand, TSMC Chairman and CEO Morris Chang said that it would be wise for the company to completely dedicate a whole fab or two to manufacture the processor chips for Apple.
Samsung has been Apple’s sole chip manufacturer for so long even though they have directly competed in the ever-expanding gadgets market but it seems that the recent squabbling between the two companies in the recent months, culminating in Apple’s patent victory over Samsung last August 2012 have completely strained their love-hate relationship and this time, Apple want out.