Just a couple months ago, Apple and Samsung were basically BFFs. Of course, they were still competitors, but their relationship was symbiotic. Samsung produced the A4 chips that run Apple’s iPhone 4 and the A5 chips found in the iPad 2, and in return, Apple became Samsung’s largest customer, providing the South Korea-based company with millions of dollars in revenue.
But the seas have grown rough between Cupertino and Seoul, with the two phone makers tied up in a massive patent war over all-too-similar product designs. A few harsh words were thrown back and forth, and as the suits progress, the tension between both companies has finally reached critical mass. The bond of BFF-hood has seemingly snapped like a twig, as Ars Technica reports that Apple will pull the multi-billion dollar rug out from under Samsung, and choose Taiwan SemiConductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to produce the A6 chip.
This isn’t the first time rumors have surfaced about Apple leaving Samsung in the dust, although this time around, the news seems much more plausible. If Apple does in fact shift over to TSMC, it would be a pretty huge blow to Samsung, which received a $7.8 billion order from Apple in February for LCDs, processors, and NAND flash memory.
The good news is that this switcheroo by Apple may not hurt us end-users very much. The only downside would be that the next-gen iPad probably won’t get an AMOLED screen without Samsung in the mix.