updated 01:37 am EDT, Wed August 29, 2012
Bids cracked $1 billion mark, report says
Apple and Qualcomm each recently made investment bids in excess of $1 billion trying to get exclusive access to chip supplies from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, according to Bloomberg. The bids were reportedly shot down because TSMC wanted to maintain flexibility in production. Qualcomm is thought to have been interested because chip shortages are limiting its earnings; Apple may have wanted a deal to reduce its dependence on Samsung.
TSMC has suggested that it may be willing to dedicate one or two factories to a single customer, but there has been no word on which companies if any are exploring the option. Apple could be a strong candidate, not only because of its desire to move away from Samsung but because it has extreme supply requirements, particularly in the run-up to the launch of a flagship product like an iPhone or iPad. Often a full month or more of manufacturing is needed to ensure enough units are ready for launch day.