Samsung keeps Apple A6 contract despite TSMC bid says exec

Reports that Apple would ditch Samsung and look instead to TSMC for the Apple A6 processor expected to feature in the next-gen iPad 3 and iPhone 5 are premature, a Samsung exec has insisted, claiming that the two companies will continue to collaborate on chipset design and manufacture. While multiple sources had suggested TSMC had snatched the production contract out from under Samsung, as Apple supposedly distanced itself from over-reliance on its courtroom foe, issues around manufacturing have apparently left Apple still dependent on Samsung The Korea Times reports.

"Apple has been in talks with Samsung over shipment of its A6 quad-core mobile processor (AP) chips to be used in the next iPhone. It appears that Apple clearly has concluded that Samsung remains a critical business partner" the unnamed Samsung executive told the Korean newspaper. The reasons behind that conclusion aren't specified, but a separate – and also anonymous – supplier claims that TSMC's production naivety is the root cause. "The manufacturing process at TSMC hasn't been stabilized" the insider suggests. "Considering Apple's previous patterns of adopting qualified technologies, Apple isn't taking risks. Samsung offers better pricing and capacity commitment for the A6 mobile APs."

According to the Samsung Electronics' CEO Choi Gee-sung, the company's COO Lee Jae-yong – son of chairman Lee Kun-hee and himself tipped to eventually head the group – attended the memorial service for Steve Jobs this past weekend after a personal invitation from Apple CEO Tim Cook. While there, Lee will apparently sit down with Cook in a meeting this week to discuss unspecified supply issues.

Apple announced earlier today that it had sold more than 4m iPhone 4S handsets in the smartphone's first weekend of availability. The phone uses the same Apple A5 chipset as the iPad 2, based on a custom design by Apple and produced by Samsung.

[via 9 to 5 Mac]