Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), a Taiwanese company producing chips, began manufacturing a new generation of components for Apple’s mobile devices, which could mean that the manufacturer of iPad tablet will break the contract with its supplier of Samsung Electronics chips, according to several sources close to the situation.
Samsung is the only supplier of A5 chips used for the iPad 2, but Apple has suggested that wishes to depart from the Korean company.
The two companies have each other filled a complaint in court accusing of infringement of patents, while Samsung has proven to be the fiercest competitor of Apple in the battle on the smartphones and tablets market. Apple is faced with several obstacles if would want to make a transition to TSMC.
"Apple is trying to diversify its source of components, but will continue to be some way in a relationship with Samsung," said William Wang, an analyst at Fubon Securities.
"I believe that TSMC will receive orders for the new chips, but the problem is how many. Apple will not provide 100% of the orders of a single supplier, such as TSMC. Maybe will allocate only 20-30% of the orders", he completed.
The analysts and other sources have previously said that TSMC, the largest manufacturer of chips under contract, will become the supplier for the next generation of chips for Apple devices, probably starting from next year.
TSMC is an obvious candidate to win the future business with Apple, because it has budgeted 7.8 billion dollars this year to update the technology and to add capacity of production.
The company has experience with the architecture of the British ARM Holdings chips, widely used by Apple to make efficient mobile chips in terms of energy consumption.
"Taiwanese company already has all the details and authorizations in place," said another source.
Tablet market, which last year was aggressively dominated by Apple's iPad, is expected to grow to 108 million devices next year, from 70 million as estimated for 2011 and 17.6 million as it was in 2010, according to Gartner.