Apple’s shift to TMSC may force Samsung to split chip design, fabrication businesses

“Samsung is reportedly looking at splitting off its chip fabrication business from the design aspects, to try and gain traction for the division after Apple abandoned it in the iPhone 7, and possible the future, in favor of TSMC,” Mike Wuerthele reports for AppleInsider.

“According to a report from Business Korea, the four-segment Samsung LSI is being examined for a re-organization,” Wuerthele reports. “The ‘system-on-a-chip’ segment, and the design team will combine to form one entity, with the foundry business being spun-off into its own entity.”

Wuerthele reports, “The evaluation allegedly came after Apple migrated all of its business for the A-series processor to TSMC.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Better Apple steps down hard on Samsung’s neck way, way late, than never.

Here’s hoping Apple CEO Tim Cook plans to kick some Samsung ass someday, for a change, and is working very hard to alleviate, not maintain, or Jobs forbid, increase, Apple’s dependence on Samsung going forward. If not, perhaps Tim Cook, not to mention Apple shareholders, should “wake up.”

Here’s a question for Apple Inc. shareholders to ask their employee, Mr. Cook ( On which planet do companies get paid billions to stamp out parts for competitors’ products and then, once they’re assembled, turn around and repeatedly piss all over them while churning out an unending stream of knockoffs of the very products that they publicly denigrate?

(Obviously, and unfortunately, Mr. Cook thinks that planet is named “Earth.”)

Here’s a shorter question for Apple Inc. shareholders to ask their employee, Mr. Cook: WTF are you doing any business at all with Samsung?

Did Mr. Cook, operations genius, really get Apple so dependent on one company that Apple cannot live without them?

Samsung has been ripping off Apple for nearly half a decade now. How long, exactly, does it take to stop doing business with them?MacDailyNews Take, April 26, 2012

You want to know what’s really unbelievable? That, after half a decade, at least, of Samsung’s slavish copying, Apple continues to do billions of dollars of business with Samsung. Apple, which has enough money to build or bankroll anything they want, like a chip fab, or a touch screen display factory, or anything they could ever need.

“Oh, you copied our iPhone, our iPod touch, our iOS home screen, our icons, and our Mac mini? Here’s another three endless German lawsuits and, oh yeah, by the way, a $10 billion contract for touch screens.”

Something just does not compute here. If you get mugged, do you buy the leather for a new wallet from your mugger while pressing charges? If you’re Tim Cook, you do.

Apple could have – and should have – dropped Samsung like a bad habit years ago. Not one red cent should be going from Apple to Samsung today. It’s a travesty. It’s poor planning. And it’s bad business. The only conclusion we can draw is that Tim Cook, operations genius, boxed Apple in and is now stuck; beholden to a den of thieves. That sort of “decision making” doesn’t bode well for Apple’s future. It really doesn’t.

Here’s the question Walt Mossberg should have asked Cook onstage at D10: “Excuse me, Tim, but WTF are you still doing any business at all with Samsung?”

Wouldn’t you love to hear the answer to that one? Walt could use Keynote to flash all of Samsung’s knockoffs of Apple’s designs on the big screen behind Tim while he sputtered and stammered.

Next shareholders’ meeting or conference call, somebody might want to ask Mr. Cook that one.MacDailyNews Take, June 1, 2012


Samsung launches Jet Black iPhone 7 knockoff with glossy ‘Black Pearl’ Galaxy S7 Edge – December 8, 2016
Samsung said to copy Apple by axing 3.5mm headphone jack – December 6, 2016
Oh-so-innovative Samsung to unveil Jet Black Galaxy S7 next month – November 21, 2016
Now slavish copier Samsung looks to knock off Apple iPhone’s 3D Touch – November 14, 2016
Samsung’s patent application for smartwatch straps includes drawings of the Apple Watch – August 5, 2016
Apple’s deadly attack on Samsung – July 22, 2016
Slavish Apple copier Samsung debuts ‘Captured on Galaxy S7’ ad – June 17, 2016
Beleaguered Samsung to debut knockoff of Apple’s phone upgrade program in South Korea – March 9, 2016
Beleaguered Samsung to attempt to knock off Apple iPhone’s Live Photos – January 14, 2016
Beleaguered Samsung to attempt to knock off Apple iPhone’s 3D Touch – December 14, 2015
Slavish Apple copier Samsung announces rose gold Galaxy Note 5 – October 15, 2015
Samsung can’t seem to stop mimicking Apple – May 4, 2015
Slavish copier Samsung in talks to launch Apple Pay knockoff – December 16, 2014
Samsung returns to mimicking Apple’s iPhone with chamfered metal-edged Galaxy Alpha – August 13, 2014
Samsung’s plastic, 32-bit Galaxy S5 has serious fingerprint sensor problems – May 6, 2014
Samsung’s new ad for Galaxy Gear stupidwatch slavishly copies Apple’s original 2007 iPhone ad (with video) – October 7, 2013
Samsung announces plastic Galaxy S4 ‘Gold Edition’ phone – September 25, 2013
Samsung slavishly copies Apple’s iPad mini with Galaxy Tab 3 (with photo) – July 23, 2013
9 ways Samsung has slavishly copied Apple over the years – July 14, 2013
Now Samsung copies Apple product rumors, said to be working on wristwatch device – March 19, 2013
Samsung’s new ‘Wallet’ bears striking resemblance to Apple’s Passbook – February 27, 2013
Korea JoongAng Daily: Samsung must stop slavishly copying Apple – September 3, 2012
South Korea reassesses its great imitator, Samsung – September 2, 2012
Is Samsung copying Apple’s patented earphones? It sure looks like it – September 8, 2012
Samsung mimics Apple product videos in Galaxy S III promo (with video) – August 24, 2012
Now slavish copycat Samsung attempts to knockoff Apple’s retail stores (with video) – August 23, 2012
Samsung: Shameless slavish copiers – August 13, 2012
Now Samsung slavishly copies Apple’s Mac mini – June 1, 2012
Samsung Mobile chief ‘designer’ denies that Samsung’s instinct is to slavishly copy Apple – March 23, 2012
Slavish copier Samsung shamelessly steals Apple’s iPhone 3G design – again – January 3, 2012
Slavish copier Samsung uses girl actress from iPhone 4S ad for Galaxy Tab 8.9 spot (with video) – January 2, 2012
Now Samsung’s slavishly copying Apple’s iPad television ads (with videos) – December 30, 2011
Judge: Can you tell me which is iPad and which is yours? Samsung lawyer: ‘Not at this distance your honor’ – October 14, 2011
Why are Apple’s icons on the wall of Samsung’s store? – September 24, 2011
Apple to Samsung: ‘Blatant copying is wrong’ – April 18, 2011
Apple sues Samsung for attempting to copy look and feel of iPhone, iPad – April 18, 2011
Samsung’s ‘Instinct’ is obviously to make Apple iPhone knockoffs – April 1, 2008


    1. I wholeheartedly agree, chefpastry. MDN’s Takes are sometimes rather extreme and ridiculous. As we have seen, it can take years to develop new sources of high-end electronic components, but the results are worth the wait.

      MDN: “WTF are you doing any business at all with Samsung?”

      The answer, MDN, is that for many years Samsung was the best or only volume source of quality components that Apple needed for its iOS devices. Apple had a choice – deal with Samsung or produce a lesser iPhone design – and Apple chose wisely. Every penny that Apple has spent on Samsung components has paid back many times over, and Apple has used some of those profits to develop alternate suppliers for key components, such as displays, CPUs, etc. The open market is taking care of Samsung’s phones – Apple is pulling in nearly all of the profits – and, now, Apple is also transitioning away from Samsung as a component supplier. Apple is stronger than ever with a bright future, and Samsung is floundering badly.

      Who got the last laugh? Tim Cook, the supply chain genius, that’s who. Eat crow, MDN. You are due a hearty helping for your hubris, for certain.

  1. MDN must be full of supply chain geniuses who understand manufacturing of highly complex electronic devices. With all that knowledge, one has to wonder why they work in news and not in manufacturing, where things are really made and capital is really produced.

  2. It’s quite obvious that the guys (I’m assuming they’re guys, as women are usually more level headed than they are) who run MDM have no idea as to what they’re saying. This is nothing new. They make a lot of dumb statements, and run with them. Occasionally, just due to luck, they’re right in some opinion.

    But they clearly have no understanding of what’s happening here. Samsung has been a good partner to them in the SoC fab business. There has been no evidence that Samsung has broken any rules in designing their own chips. That is, they’ve not used any Apple technology in their own chips. That’s really very clear.

    If Apple has decided to move elsewhere, it isn’t because of that. If Apple feels that they want to take their business elsewhere because of actions done elsewhere in Samsung, that’s fine. If they feel that TSMC has a better process, that’s fine. But it’s not because Samsung has done anything wrong in the chip business. Certainly not “ripping Apple off”.

    1. The schizophrenic nature of many of the MDN Takes® indicates that several people have their hand in creating them. The older Takes were generally more on target with respect to Apple, as well as more contemplative and humorous. SteveJack, in particular, offered witty and insightful commentary. The drivel that often passes for an MDN Take nowadays is a poor descendant of the Takes of old.

      MDN, you have harped a lot about Apple’s performance in recent years, but you had best turn a critical eye to your own fiefdom. Rocks…glass houses…MDN.

  3. i think mdn is right. on this one.

    apple has all the money and more to start its own foundry and design their own chips – what is taking so long ?

    samsung behavior has been absolutely egregious.

    unforgivably so.

    time to wrap them in a cement overcoat and give them the old heave -ho

  4. My wife has a life-long friend who a few years ago married a really horrible guy. Even though she is every bit as lovely as she previously was, we now rarely see her because we don’t like how her husband behaves. It was initially rather painful, but we now spend our time with other friends.

    It’s a bit like that with Samsung. The chip division has been OK for Apple, but it’s other half is an absolute asshole.

    As it happens, Apple’s relationship with TSMC has been very constructive and has worked brilliantly for both partners. TSMC know that they are only where they are now because Samsung behaved so dishonourably and Apple felt obliged to look elsewhere, even though there wasn’t a ready to go alternative at that time. TSMC can be in no doubt that if they were to ever abuse their relationship with Apple, Apple would move on again, but I don’t think that their is any danger of that because TSMC has entirely different values to Samsung.

    I’m at a loss to work out what Samsung is likely to achieve by splitting off the foundry business. They won’t be getting Apple back. TSMC are delivering great results and the chips they make for Apple are world-beating. Why would Apple turn it’s back on a loyal and rewarding partner like TSMC? The only way that I could see Samsung winning contracts from Apple would be for second string production in order to meet massive demand. Samsung would have to offer very attractive rates to make that worthwhile for Apple, which means that it wouldn’t be a very profitable business. It would be the sort of contract that keeps the plant running, rather than being a catalyst to propel the business forward.

    Maybe Samsung believes that by spinning off the foundry business, it will attract new customers, but there’s only one major customer with a really huge problem with Samsung and that’s Apple. I don’t think that other potential customers will feel that a spun-off foundry will make any difference to their purchasing decisions one way or the other.

    We can enjoy observing the schadenfreude of Samsung suffering as a direct consequence of it’s own dishonourable actions, but I really can’t see what difference it makes to other customers if their foundry division were split off.

    1. Great post, alanaudio! Clear and cogent.

      Friendships are far too valuable to allow someone else to get in the way. With respect to your wife’s life-long friend, I suggest that she try to find a way to arrange outings with her friend without the friend’s husband. If the friend’s husband makes it difficult to do that, then try harder. That probably means that the friend needs her friendship and support even more desperately. She may be trapped with that horrible guy and feel like there is no way out.

  5. I think the problem is what MDN is saying is exactly how many of us Apple geeks feel because we are so passionate abut this company
    The slavish copying feel as personal as if it had been done to us. I truly boiled over just reading MDN’s take because samsung are the thieves Apple continue to deal with and in the big picture are holding back Apples true domination of the market.

    People think because Apple is wining financially then all is good but many of us live by principles and money takes a back seat . Thieves should be hung drawn a quartered not supported.

    Yes I know Apple have to keep their options open but really?
    With all that money now, Apple should be the ones building that new fab plant for TSMC and doing it the USA, killing many birds at the same time.

    It’s time for Tim to do something that makes us feel like its not all about sitting on the fence and trying to be nice to everyone because I feel if Tim wants to keep the moral stance he so champions
    its his moral duty to stand up against Samsung wrong doing
    Take a side.
    If Principles are how you want to be judged so do it!

    We are all waiting for Apple to kick Samsung where it hurts.
    The legal rout has achieved nothing show some balls Apple!

    1. I feel your pain. I really do. As a loyal Apple supporter I certainly share your outrage. But Cook and Apple cannot throw the corporate badge on the table in defense of principles at the sacrifice of the company.

      Apple made the right choice – a more reasoned and measured response that strengthened Apple and its supplier alternatives while also gradually weaning Apple from its dependencies on Samsung. It took years, but revenge is a dish best served cold.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.