Apple plots course to dump slavish copier Samsung from supply chain; looks to TSMC to stamp out processors

“Apple has introduced the iPhone 5 and is preparing to unwrap its iPad mini, but the company is also putting together the pieces for its next-generation mobile processors while plotting a course to dump arch rival Samsung from its supply chain,” Jonny Evans reports for Computerworld. ”

“The latest recruitment ad gives us a small glimpse as to the company’s future plans,” Evans reports. “The company is seeking a lead engineer to develop system-on-chip processors, with the ideal candidate being a person ‘at the center of a chip design effort interfacing with all disciplines.'”

Evans reports, “It seems unlikely Samsung will manufacture future Apple chips. The company has been seeking out a new partner for this tasks since Steve Jobs first approached its Korean partner to ask it to stop copying iProduct designs. History will show Samsung refused to honor this request, forcing Apple into legal action… It appears TSMC has finally got itself into position to begin manufacturing processors for Apple’s devices. Multiple reports have claimed it intended doing so for the current iPhone, but a Focus Taiwan news story suggests it’s preparing to do so in future. TSMC will spend more on facility investment next year than Samsung.”

Read more in the full article here.


    1. Unlikely.

      Samsung is a highly-diversified conglomerate that has sales of over $280 billion annually; admittedly, it’s no Apple in terms of profitability, but it still makes around $18 billion.

      1. Yes unlikely Samsung goes away anytime soon but many people like myself have them on a permanent product ban list, even if a completely unrelated device like a washer/dryer. Losing a partner like Apple is going to hurt Samsung far more than the other way around.

        1. From a fellow boycotter, the unfortunate reality is that lost revenue due to a few Apple fans boycotting will be hardly noticed, if at all. Meanwhile, their smartphone division is growing at ridiculous rates and making record profits.

  1. It’s not simply cutting Samsung out of the supply chain. The new Apple designed processors are delivering high computational power combined with frugal power consumption. Those chips are not available to Samsung and they don’t get any inside knowledge of them either.

    Samsung are losing business, but at the same time, their rivals are now becoming much stronger.

    1. “Those chips are not available to Samsung and they don’t get any inside knowledge of them either.”

      I was thinking the same thing about eliminating Samsung’s intimate look (spying) at Apple’s hardware.

      This might have a far larger impact on Samsung’s future in mobile computing (removal of Samsung’s future product designs -> stolen from Apple) than any economic impact caused by just removing Apple’s manufacturing contracts.

      The costs to Samsung would include creating Samsung’s own R&D department, seeking and hiring staff for interface departments, hardware and software design departments, and design testing departments. These costs alone to Samsung could reach billions. What did Cook say Apple spent on R&D for just Apple’s tablet and phone? Add a higher figure to Samsung’s expenditures, as Samsung will be starting from scratch.

      I am smiling at the thought.

  2. Welcomed news for something that needs to be done sooner than later. Cut off the flow of money to Samdung completely. Stop making you enemy stronger. It’s only logical. Remember at the end of the day Samdung caused this problem by being a bad partner and an all around bad corporate citizen to its customers and partners and soon to their investors when the Apple cash machine stop spitting out massive amounts of undeserved cash.
    Get ready to see hell unleashed while Samdung desperately tries to find buyers willing to buy parts for products that Samdung will themselves compete with. Besides Apple as a competitor they are now in all out war with Googlrola. A battle Samdung will lose. They know it and is why they are moving to windows 8 mobile to further the divide between the two companies. They should also be Leary of Microsoft who is also directly working on their own phones and tablets and going direct to consumers.

  3. Let’s all help Samsung pack the moving van and we’ll give them a map to show them the way out of town.

    Samsung is the slime on the surface of the pond on which Google’s Schmidt floats.

  4. Ad this is news? Samsung will no doubt hire their own chip development talent pool as Apple is hiring theirs to challenge one another on all fronts. Frankly, SuperKmart nails it on all fronts in that Apple and Samsung should not collaborate on anything!

    For the record, Samsung is worth trillions and the electronics side of their business is just a drop in a hat.

    Apple’s only challenge will be matching the quality high volume production that Samsung offers from other suppliers than they select to deal with. Keep one thing in mind. Apple’s argument for ridiculous high prices as been justified by selling consumers on their quality components argument which in several devices was north of 60% Samsung. Other than that, Apple will be Apple, Samsung will move to Windows Phone as Moto will roll with Android and Nokia will of course stay the course with Windows Phone. RIM, will probably still be a player with their 80 million users who will always look for their keyboards and security.
    Sony, HTC, and probably several Chinese companies will of course still be serious players via Android. Sony migh move to Windows Phone as well.

    1. “For the record, Samsung is worth trillions and the electronics side of their business is just a drop in a hat.”

      Clearly you don’t have a handle on the value of companies worldwide. Samsung isn’t even close to Apple which is valued at over $650 billion. Samsungs assets don’t even reach $400 million.

      1. Please do not comment unless you know what you are talking about. Samsung C&T division alone is worth 1.2 trillion. Check out who is the driving engine behind the new tower in New York, who supplies most militaries with state of the art weapons, who provides life insurance to 26% of the Asian market, who build 80% of all major bridges in the World, and yes who build great audio/video/mobile devices…
        Do your homework my little friend and maybe stop promoting Apple based on market value as that number can go down as quick as it went up. Fabricated value. This said, you might also want to learn something about outstanding shares and the life cycle of a company. Let’s see what Google will be worth in 22 more years given that Apple is 36 years old an Google 14 years old.

        Microsoft with adjustments for inflation at its peak would of been worth 845 billion.

        Now I want to be clear… I am far more a fan of Apple than I am a fan of Samsung but not to a point where I come off as a Cult member.

        1. Hi Gary,

          First of all your numbers are wrong. Current value of Samsun C&T: 10,290,000,000,000.00 KRW = 9,241,666,436.1982 USD.
          That’s 9 billion dollars, or roughtly 1/100th of the value you are claiming.

          The only companies that can come close the value of Apple are some state-owned oil companies in the Middle East. Even then, the correct valuation would be in dispute.

          ZeusCarver, I assume you meant billion, not million for Samsung’s valuation.

          Anyway, Samsung will be hurt in a major way by the loss of Apple’s chip business. They will lose Apple’s screen business as well as their flash business, too. All in all, probably over 10 billion in lost revenue. That’s not chump change. Furthermore, we’re at a point where Google and Microsoft now have their own hardware divisions.

          1. Actually, since all of his information is bullshit, pretty much anyone could make it up quickly. The only time needed is the time it takes to pull it out of one’s ass.

    1. Sorry to disappoint you but Samsung won’t blink if they lose Apple’s business. The industry is growing rapidly and Samsung is one of the biggest component suppliers. They will find customers to replace Apple quite easily. In the long term, it is another story. When growth slows, it is good to have a reliable partner like Apple but right now, the move will have next to no effect.

      – HCE

      1. Knowing what they do about Samdung, why would any company trust Samdung ever again?

        They stabbed their partners during the memory price fixing investigation and they stabbed Apple by copying the designs that Apple gave them for manufacturing. Who in their right mind would do business with them again?

        1. > Who in their right mind would do business with them again?

          Unfortunately, if the industry operated this way, Microsoft would have gone out of business a long time ago. Right now Samsung makes extremely high quality components and components are in short supply. Companies will get components from whoever can supply them. There is a very good reason why Apple is having so much trouble moving away from Samsung – no one else can supply what they need other than Samsung. If this article is to be believed, TSCM might be able to produce what Apple needs shortly but it has taken them years to be in a position where they are able to move.

          – HCE

          1. Not even close. Microsoft is a software company. That comparison makes no sense.

            Why would I trust Samsung to fab my proprietary chipsets after the way they have shown they cannot be trusted. Sure, I expect others to get memory and other components from them, but don’t expect Apple to get ANYTHING from them once they can.

            Remember, Samsung did this to themselves. Apple would have happily continued to do billions of dollars worth of business with them if they were such snakes. I’m actually pretty sure that the heads of Samsung Semiconductor are probably pretty pissed with the Samsung Mobile guys.

  5. Yup no more early access on future apple products lol

    Isn’t apple samsung’s biggest client?
    Losing business with apple will hurt them badly.

    Seeing your customer go to other competitor is painful .

    1. Again too many unknowns to presume that margins are such that Samsung will feel this. Korean plants do not run on make work projects like US or Canadian plants do.

      From what we can tell even with a new post on MDN today, Apple likes to be only one making serious dollars via margins that are unheard of anywhere else and they accomplish this in several ways the least of which is low balling their manufacturing partners.

      1. Right, Gary–Apple improves its margins by lowballing its manufacturing partners whereas other companies like to pay full price or even premiums to their manufacturing partners. Got it…

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