The latest scuttlebutt fresh out of Korea has it that Apple is considering switching to Samsung-made components for the new iPhones and Apple Watch, including iPhone 6 batteries manufactured by Samsung SDI and NAND flash manufactured by Samsung’s component making arm.
The story matches up nicely with a BusinessKorea report earlier this month which claimed Apple was considering changing its flash storage provider due to alleged issues with some 128GB iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus units.
Citing industry sources privy to the matter, GforGames relayed a report from Korea claiming that Apple is also considering entrusting Samsung with manufacture of the S1 system-on-a-chip that powers the Apple Watch.
As for the new iPhones, Apple reportedly planned to use Samsung’s NAND flash for the iPhone 6 but opted to use Toshiba’s TLC NAND flash in the 128 GB iPhone 6 because the two companies “have failed to agree on the prices.”
Should Apple and Samsung reach a mutually beneficial agreement, future iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus units rolling off assembly lines could feature both Samsung-made flash storage and the DRAM module.
In addition to Toshiba, Apple sources the iPhone 6’s NAND flash from both SK Hynix and SanDisk. Some 128GB iPhone 6 units are said to exhibit random boot looping and unexpected crashes, which some people attribute to an issue in the TLC NAND flash controller made by Israeli flash memory company Anobit, which Apple acquired in 2011 to help optimize flash storage performance of iOS devices.
“In addition, some industry insiders speculate that both companies are currently jointly developing communications chips for the next-generation iPhone,” concludes the story.
Apple and Samsung this summer withdrew all patent infringement lawsuits outside the United States so I wouldn’t be surprised if this report turned out true.
Case in point: The Korea Times newspaper recently said that Apple choose Samsung to supply 80 percent of mobile chip production. Also, the South Korean conglomerate previously confirmed Apple had commissioned it to build 14nm A9 processors for 2015 iPhones and iPads.