If a new supply chain report out of Asia Friday is to be trusted, Apple’s arch-rival Samsung is supplying it with RAM chips for the upcoming iPhone 6 refresh. This comes as somewhat of a surprise given Apple’s been fighting tooth and nail to supplant the South Korean conglomerate with alternative component suppliers amid intensifying competition, aggressive advertising and never-ending legal issues plaguing its relationship with Samsung.
DigiTimes writes, citing industry sources:
Apple made a drastic move to begin expelling Samsung from its supplier list for a number of key components, including application processors, mobile RAM, NAND flash chips and batteries, starting 2013, the sources noted.
A quick backgrounder: with the release of the iPhone 5 in September of 2013, Apple dropped Samsung from the supplier list and switched to buying mobile RAM from SK Hynix and Elpida Memory.
Sources now add that neither SK Hynix nor Elpida increased RAM shipments over Apple’s “less than desired” prices, forcing the iPhone maker to go in bed with Samsung, all over again.
If true, this news indicates that strained relationship between the two frenemies may have relaxed a bit after both firms recently agreed to settle all foreign patent disputes.
On the other hand, Samsung’s scale and lead in component production makes it one of the largest makers of RAM chips for mobile devices in the world. Moreover, word on the street is that Apple has moved its A-series mobile chip production to fabless semiconductor maker TSMC, which may or may not build the iPhone 6’s A8 processor.
The iPhone 6 is expected to be announced at a media event on September 9.
Earlier this morning, a number of details pertaining to the size, weight, battery, camera design and more surfaced, based on genuine-looking production instructions said to have leaked out of Foxconn’s plant.