updated 09:48 am EDT, Mon March 10, 2014
Samsung, TSMC may be splitting production duties
Samsung will still be involved in production of Apple's A8 processor, an anonymous Samsung official tells ZDNet Korea. The company has allegedly signed a contract to produce the A8 at its plant in Austin, Texas -- where all other A-series chips have been made -- and is in the final testing stages before mass production. Rumors that Samsung has been having yield problems are "exaggerated claims," the official says, and so the A8 should start rolling off Samsung lines sometime next quarter.
Recent reports have insinuated that TSMC would be handling A8 production exclusively, in a transition rumored for longer still. Taiwan's Commercial Times indicates that TSMC has already begun manufacturing; if so, Samsung and TSMC may simply be splitting duties. This might allow Apple to better meet demand for iOS devices, which is often so intense in the first months after a launch that units can take weeks to ship, or be virtually non-existent at retail.
As during the past couple of years, Apple is expected to ship new iPhones and iPads this fall. It may also have new iPods and/or the iWatch ready.