Given the bad blood between Samsung and Apple stemming from past (and current) patent disputes, the thought was Apple would distance itself from the Korean conglomerate at the supply chain level. According to a new report from Digitimes, however, the long-time manufacturer of iPhone components has inked a new deal to fabricate processors for Apple’s 2015 lineup.
The contract tasks Samsung with producing some — but not all — of the A-series chips that will be found in Apple’s upcoming smartphones. Specifically, Samsung will be responsible for handling chips to be produced under a 14nm process. A share of chips will also be sourced from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s 16nm foundry.
Sources say the split most likely will have TSMC handling the majority of production, as was the case with Apple’s 2013 lineup, including the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. There is also a chance production responsibilities will be divided equally.
Per a previous report, TSMC has signed a long-term deal with Apple to take over as the primary supplier of CPU components for the company’s mobile products. While Samsung will continue to handle a share in 2014, it is unclear how Apple’s biggest competitor factors into future supply chain plans beyond that point.