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Over the last few years, the rivalry between Apple and Samsung in the smartphone market has heated up quite a bit. That’s why it’s always such a surprise to learn that Samsung provides components for Apple’s devices, ranging from touchscreens for the iPad to CPU chips. Regarding that last bit, though, it seems that rumors are swirling that Apple has signed with another chip supplier, reducing the company’s reliance on Samsung for its iPhone devices.

According to a post on Digitimes, unnamed sources are cited as saying that Apple has signed a three year deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to supply the iPhone’s A-series chips. The post says that TSMC is set to begin manufacturing the chips this coming July, and that it’s set to ramp up production after this coming December.

But, well, it may not be as simple as all that. A post on 9to5mac disputes the claims made in the Digitimes post, pointing out that the website has reported a similar kind of deal between Apple and TSMC more than once in years past, first in 2011, then again last year. The post also points out that other publications have reported that trial manufacturing periods were set to start earlier this year, and that at the end of it all, Samsung still remains the iPhone’s CPU supplier. Finally, the post points out that Samsung has invested heavily in a new plant in Austin, Texas that makes chips for Apples many devices. In short, if the 9to5mac post is to be believed, it doesn’t seem like Samsung is going anywhere anytime soon.

In a lot of ways, it’s a tough concept to wrap our heads around: why would Apple want parts from its biggest rival to live inside its most important product? At the end of the day, it’s all just business. Chances are that Samsung makes the best, and least expensive, product that Apple needs to make its iPhones as good as they are. Microsoft will be including a Blu-ray player in its upcoming Xbox One console—a technology developed in large part by its gaming rival, Sony. And Microsoft’s Windows platform shows up on tons of PC-makers’ computers, despite Microsoft having entered into the hardware game with its tablets and phones. It seems that business can make business friends out of even the fiercest of rivals.

Until we hear about Apple dropping Samsung’s chips for sure, we’ll have to file this squarely in the rumor department. Stay tuned.


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