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Samsung's Austin fab dedicated to Apple A5 chips

updated 02:25 am EST, Fri December 16, 2011

Samsung uses lone US plant for iPhone and iPad

Samsung's $3.6 billion Austin plant may be dedicated almost exclusively to making Apple's A5 processors. Sources asserted Friday in conversation with Reuters that the 1.6 million square foot facility began supplying the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S with its main chip earlier in the year. Full production only just kicked in as of this month, the contacts said.

Although not directly linked, the tip also supports talk of the A6 being built in the US as well.

On the record, Samsung wouldn't confirm Apple's presence, citing its policies on clients. It did confirm that the Austin plant had grown to include "logic" chips, or processors like the A5 and A6. A full 1,100 jobs had been added to handle this side of production, or almost half of the 2,400 total working in the factory.

The plant, production for which got underway in 1996, would mark a rare return for Apple to sourcing major parts in the US. Previously, it had to get much of its iOS chip designs made in Korea. Finished hardware components still have to be shipped to China or Brazil for final assembly. Diversifying locations may help as much as improving production capacity, since it's now unlikely to lose production because of one of its main chip producers encountering a setback.

Apple has seen runaway iPad and iPhone sales, and it may be on track to ship 35 million iPhones in the fall alone. Having Austin's support would guarantee a smooth supply.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Nov 2009


    To the proponents of

    boycotting Samsung products...

    Good luck.

  1. ElectroTech

    Junior Member

    Joined: Nov 2008


    Keep your friends close and your enemies . . .

    Probably a good idea for Apple to keep very close to Samscum and make sure they can't easily copy the chips too. It would be so easy for Apple to prove theft when they are in Samsung's lair.

  1. chippie

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2009


    At The Moment apple Has No

    choice but to work with Samsung for supply reasons. This makes the lawsuits all the more ridiculous.

  1. Greengo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2010



    So it will be interesting if Apple still continues to hire Samsung to mass produce their Apple designed A5, they may look at others to build the A5...Samsung isn't the only company building the A5 though. Actually there's a rumour that Apple may hire Intel to mass produce the Apple designed A6. It is interesting, because Samsung wouldn't want to lose Apple's business...if they did, this factory would be in trouble.

  1. simon42

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2010


    Article fails to mention

    ... that A6 is already in pre-production there.

  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008


    Samsung loves it

    Their sneaky underhanded negotiations tricked Apple into signing a multi year deal with them. No Shamesung has access to almost all the inner workings of Apple. Software to hardware....they get to see pre-build prototypes.... The Koreans win again.

  1. Inkling

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Jul 2006


    Austin plant

    It's refreshing to find that Apple is building something in the US, even if it's doing so through a Korean company. Why is it that Asian and Germany companies can run high-quality, profitable factories here but our own executives can't.?

    I'm also more than a little ticked off that my two iPhones both say: "Developed by Apple in California. Assembled in China." California isn't a country. It's a state and a badly run, almost bankrupt one at that. And China is a repressive, one-party dictatorship where 'think different' is banned. The slogan on my iPhone is a bit like owning an old tube radio that says: "Designed in a banana republlc. Assembled in 1935 Germany."

    Ethics aside, it's not even good business to design in an over-regulated, over-taxed state and assemble in a politically unstable dictatorship.

    Signs of cooperation between Apple and Samsung are refreshing. All these tech-industry lawsuits make me regard their corporate CEOs as little boys off on a corner of the playground seeing who can pee the furtherest. They need to quite quibbling over patents that never should have been issued and concentrate on making the best products at the best prices.

  1. panjandrum

    Junior Member

    Joined: Dec 2004



    These companies have a truly dysfunctional relationship. I'm no fan of Samsung anymore, I'm sick and tired of companies looking at Apple hardware and just duplicating it. But is this something that can be realistically battled at the legal front? The computing industry is certainly not the only place where we see blatant copies of other companies products. I think the one that most clearly comes to mind is the current Honda Insight, which is so blatantly a copy of the Prius. I'm not a fan of either car especially, but is this the kind of thing that just happens, all the time, and it's just life. A popular design will be copied over and over and over again. The best response is not to buy products from companies that can't be bothered to do their own design work, but unfortunately the majority of the world probably doesn't really care about that kind of thing.

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