Apple, eager to find a manufacturing partner who isn't also their chief rival, Samsung, has apparently finally come to a deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) to start taking over at least some of their chipset production. Jessica E. Lessin, Lorraine Luk and Juro Osawa, writing for the Wall Street Journal report:
Apple is finding that breaking up with Samsung is hard to do. For evidence, look no further than Apple Inc.'s effort to find a company other than ferocious rival Samsung Electronics Co. to make the sophisticated chip brains used in Apple's iPads and iPhones. This month, after years of technical delays, Apple finally signed a deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.. to make some of the chips starting in 2014, according to a TSMC executive. The process had been beset by glitches preventing the chips from meeting Apple's speed and power standards, TSMC officials said.
Much like Google, who partnered with Apple on the iPhone only to learn their approach and ultimately compete against them with Android, Samsung built parts of Apple's mobile business only to learn how to make their own, Galaxy-branded devices. Having partners less likely to enter into competition with them is likely high on Apple's must-do list these days, and while it doesn't sound like TSMC will be doing the heavy chipset lifting, at least for a while still, that they're beginning is in and of itself interesting.
Smart move or foolish move? Should Apple get the best parts from the best providers, or is doing business with a competitor simply untenable?
Source: Wall Street Journal