Samsung claims to have won contract for next-gen Apple iPod chip design

“Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. on Wednesday claimed that the company grabbed a major MP3 chip design win at Apple Computer Inc. — at the expense of PortalPlayer Inc. An executive from Samsung said that the company won the MP3 media processor business for Apple’s next-generation iPods. Samsung, along with other vendors, also supplies NAND flash-memory chips for the iPod as well,” Mark LaPedus reports for EE Times. “It’s a huge win for Samsung — and a blow for PortalPlayer. Last week, PortalPlayer said that it had been dealt a major setback at Apple, which is apparently switching media processor chip vendors in its iPod lines.”

“At the SEMI Strategic Business Conference on Wednesday, Samsung disclosed that it won the iPod business. ‘I knew PortalPlayer would take a dive,’ said Jon Kang, senior vice president for the technical marketing group at Samsung Semiconductor Inc.,” LaPedus reports. “Kang referred to the company’s chip as the ‘PortalPlayer killer.’ Samsung’s chip is based on 32-bit processor technology from ARM Holdings plc. In a brief interview after the presentation, the Samsung executive said the design win represents Samsung’s largest LSI chip order to date. ‘We’ve been working with Apple a long time,’ he said. ‘It’s a huge win for us.’”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: So, how does this help Samsung take the top spot in music players from Apple by 2007? Or has that fantasy of Samsung’s already lapsed?

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Related articles:
PortalPlayer announces product not selected by Apple for iPod use – April 19, 2006
Samsung: we will take top spot in music players from Apple by 2007 – January 09, 2006


  1. hmmmm…again with the ARM chips!
    Apple had a big piece of them once upon a time, and sold off the shares in chunks to “improve” the finanacial statement. AND
    the Newton ran on them as well!!!

    MW-led or is it LED? Is LED even a word?

  2. MDN Take,

    What about IBM supplying processors to Apple for notebooks while they themselves make notebooks? Samsung is a huge multi-faceted company with many interests. They can still compete in the portable audio market (albeit not very well) and supply chips to Apple. They’re in the business of making money.

  3. uh-oooohhhhhh…. Steve’s not gonna be happy that someone else announced a deal before he’d had a chance to build up the perfect presentation for it, along with the buzz that comes with an anticipated product demo.

    Remember the video card “announcement” a few years ago? Those folks got their butt handed to ’em on the eve of a Stevenote.

    And even though there’s no Stevenote planned for a while, this probably isn’t gonna sit well in Cupertino!

    PortalPlayer might have its fortunes reversed, if this is a bad enough gaff from Samsung, especially if the ink isn’t dry yet…

  4. These business relationships are something else! Will Samsung stay motivated to supply enough good product for iPods when Samsung is trying like hell to sell its own MP3 players in competition with the iPod? Was this kind of conflicted relationship part of the “problem” with IBM? Interesting.

  5. (continued)
    On the other hand, if Samsung has the best technology available to put in future iPods, not to use its stuff would put us at a competitive disadvantage. So we trust that Jobs and the legal team can keep ’em honest, and here we go. I guess.

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