Samsung will once again produce the processors Apple needs for the company’s best selling product according to a report from Korea. This move would place Samsung’s chipmaking factories back in line with iPhone hardware after losing their contract with Apple to TSMC in the year 2013. That was a chip contract loss for the history books.
The Next iPhone Chip (likely A11)
The next iPhone will be rolling with 7-nanometer mobile processor chips in their next smartphone lineup, according to The Investor – part of The Korea Herald. This would come just after the Apple A10 chip with 16nm process, manufactured by TSMC, and the A10X chip with 10 nm process, also manufactured by TSMC. The latter chip is used in the 10.5-inch iPad Pro as well as the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2G. The Apple A10 chip is used in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
Samsung’s recent reported purchase of a number of extreme ultra violet lithography machines points toward expanded production capabilities for processor hardware. “The CEO [Kwon Oh-hyun, 1/3 CEOs of chip and parts businesses] could persuade Apple’s top brass taking advantage of their close ties on OLED,” said an unnamed Industry Source.
This same report suggested that Samsung’s next tests for chip-making machines will be key. They’ll apparently be seeking “final approval” from Apple for chip production soon.
Samsung Display already commands a large portion of the iPhone’s front face. Samsung is the largest OLED display manufacturer in the world at the moment at 95% of the market. They’re also, according to The Investor, the “sole OLED supplier for the upcoming iPhone.” That’d otherwise be known as the mysterious iPhone 8, for 2017.
If Samsung’s various manufacturing arms get their contracts in order in time, the brand will be primed to make one massive amount of cash over the next few years. Manufacturing both the display and the processor inside the iPhone is just about as giant a set of deals as a part-maker could hope to get.