updated 04:50 pm EST, Wed November 7, 2012
Company could be forced to slow expansion
Samsung is "likely" to postpone building a new semiconductor plant in Hwaseong, South Korea because of Apple, according to DigiTimes. The facility, known as Line-17, was originally expected to start volume production in the first quarter of 2014, but DigiTimes suggests that Samsung may be worried about losing some of its orders for Apple processors. Sources tell the website that Samsung will no longer be the only manufacturer of the A-series chips used in iPhones and iPads; currently these are produced at a Samsung plant in Austin, Texas.
While DigiTimes has a mixed track record, rumors have previously hinted that TSMC could take over some of the supply of processors starting late next year. Apple is also widely believed to be trying to distance itself from Samsung, with which it's engaged in numerous patent disputes, and is now a major competitor in the smartphone realm thanks to phones like the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note II. Apple recently recruited a former Samsung chip designer, Jim Mergard.
Although Apple customizes the processors in iPhones and iPads, it bases its designs on ARM templates, and is dependent on third-party manufacturers to actually produce them. Its latest chip is the A6X, found in the fourth-generation iPad.