As it stands right now, it’s anyone’s guess — except Apple’s — which company is going to get the bulk of any component orders from the house that built the iPhone, and news reports are certainly working hard to go back-and-forth between Samsung and TSMC.
When it comes to the production of processors, including Apple’s rumored A9 chipset that will power some iDevice later this year, the main contenders for order completion is Samsung and TSMC. As it stands right now, there has been a constant stream of news reports suggesting that one company will get the bulk of orders over the other, and almost immediately afterwards something to the opposite effect.
In November, there was a report that surfaced that suggested the battle between TSMC and Samsung was still raging on, but that Samsung could very well net the bulk of orders for Apple’s next processor, despite the tumultuous relationship between Samsung and Apple. To lend credence to that earlier claim, in the early part of December a report surfaced that suggested Samsung had in fact already started production of Apple’s A9 chip.
Now, though, a new report has risen to the top of the pile based on an analyst’s report originally published by the Taipei Times. The report states that while Samsung and TSMC are quite similar in many important factors that Apple considers for production, this time around it will be TSMC that earns the majority of orders from Apple regarding the A9 processor. This decision, according to the report, stems from TSMC’s favorable production yield:
“The two companies’ technological capabilities are similar, so the key factor will be whose mass-production yield is better,” MIC director Chris Hung (洪春暉) told reporters on the sidelines of the event. Hung added that the chances of TSMC remaining the main supplier are higher because of its better yields.“
Ultimately, this is just about the bulk orders, the one supply partner that will get the majority of the requests from Apple, but in the end the supply chain will be handled as it usually is, and Apple will distribute plenty of options for other companies to get their hands on. Apple has always handled its supply chains well, all in an effort to make sure that there is enough product out there for people to buy. Of course, matching demand with physical goods has proven difficult for Apple over the years, even with the tweaks to the supply chain. In 2015, that will likely be the case all over again.[via MacRumors; Taipei Times]