Samsung to supply A6 chips for next-gen iPhone

Samsung is expected to supply Apple with A6 chips for its next-gen iPhone and iPad – despite an ongoing patent war between the two industry heavyweights.

“Apple has been in talks with Samsung over shipment of its A6 quad-core mobile processor (AP) chips to be used in the next iPhone,” a supply chain source told the Korea Times.

“It appears that Apple clearly has concluded that Samsung remains a critical business partner.”

According to the source, Samsung recently increased the output of the Apple-designed A6 processors in its Austin fab. 

“Samsung will apply its advanced 28-nanometer processing technology to produce qualified A6 mobile APs,” the source confirmed. 

“[Although] TSMC will provide customized chips with designs from Apple, the volume will be very small.”

Another industry source offered a similar assessment. 

“The manufacturing process at TSMC hasn’t been stabilized. Considering Apple’s previous patterns of adopting qualified technologies, Apple isn’t taking risks… Samsung offers better pricing and capacity commitment for the A6 mobile APs.”

Although Cupertino has yet to confirm a launch date for either device, both the iPad 3 and iPhone 5 are expected to debut sometime in the first quarter of 2012.