Samsung Raises Price of iOS Device Chips by 20% Report Claims

Specs chip

MarketWatch is reporting on an article from Chosun Ilbo, a Korean newspaper, that Samsung has raised their prices of the A-series chips used in Apple’s iOS devices, by 20%. The report goes on to say that Apple at first refused the price increase, but could not find a replacement supplier to pick up the slack, so Apple acquiesced.

Even though Apple’s latest chips, the A6 and A6X are custom designed chips from Apple’s in-house engineers, Samsung is the manufacturing muscle behind these chips. Some of the tear downs of the iPhone 5 have suggested that the price of the A6 chip is $17.50 per chip, and a 20% increase would work out to be an additional $3.50 per unit.

I would wager that Apple is frantically looking to find someone, anyone, that could take over the manufacturing responsibilities for their A-series chips. If it isn’t overtly obvious by now, as Apple’s manufacturing partner, Samsung has taken Apple’s designs in some form or fashion, from many of their components, weaponized it, and are now using them as a competitive threat against Apple. If for no other reason than self-preservation, Apple needs to get away from Samsung.

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  • Marvin Nakajima

    Considering that the ARM architecture is a bunch of SoC components and the A-series chips Apple has ‘designed’ is actually closer to rearranging LEGO blocks by hand than reshaping the component plastic (thus having to license the ARM architecture at all), the most Samsung could have copied would have been the rearrangement of the SoC parts. Hardly a big deal. Besides, the Apple A-series chips are optimized for the iOS and it would not make sense for Samsung to copy anything unless you see them copy iOS at the binary level in the future. Efficiencies in production for Samsung also came from their already quite extensive experience with their own tweaks on the ARM architecture. I would think it would be more costly (time/money/scale) for Apple to use a different fab-company at this time even with the 20% increase which will probably be passed on to the consumer.