Across the world, media outlets and tech journalists are going crazy, trying to figure out what is signal and what is noise in the long list of daily Apple rumors. Apple has skipped its WWDC launch date for the iPhone and this has resulted in a huge pile of rumors about the upcoming iPhone 4S / 5. Apple introduced the A4 chip last year with the original iPad and they later got the A5 chip with the iPad 2. While industry observers are sure that Apple would use the same A5 chip in the next iPhone, today we are hearing about rumors of the Apple A6 and A7. Yes you heard it right, the A6 and A7 processors.?
Yes these are chips that Apple hasn’t announced, hasn’t spoken about and in all probability they won’t be reality until 2012. But if rumors, attributed to ‘unnamed internal sources,’ ?Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has secured the contract to build the next-gen A6 and A7 chips for Apple. The current A5 used in the iPad 2 are said to be built using the 40-nm procedure, whereas the A6 is said to be a product of 28-nm process at TSMC.
Before TSMC, Apple was rumored to be working with Samsung for building their own chips based on ARM architecture. What this new?foundry partnership with TSMC means is subjective. Some claim it is expansion of capacity, while many would want to believe that it is by all means an attempt to dump Samsung, a rival in the mobile market who is currently contesting Apple’s lawsuits across the globe.
Samsung is an important and dominant player in the components market. Apple’s huge investments in components like LCDs, processors and NAND Flash memory is a way to safeguard supply (and at the same time command economies of scale) and compete on the hardware end. No wonder, Apple is as much about its beautiful hardware as it is about its software.