iPhone 6 and Samsung: Not much in common

Samsung is looking to boost its chip business for low-cost phones as Apple switches to other manufacturers for its processors.

Apple's A6X chip is made by Samsung. But future Apple processors may be made elsewhere.
Apple's A6X chip is made by Samsung. But future Apple processors may be made elsewhere.

What do the iPhone 6 and Samsung have in common? Not much, according to a report.

Samsung will not be making processors for Apple's iPhone 6, so says the Korea Economic Daily in a report dated Wednesday.

To counter the "damage caused" by "Apple shunning Samsung" for the iPhone 6 processor, the Korean company is developing a processor with an integrated 3G/4G modem for low-cost phones to compete with Qualcomm and MediaTek, the report said.

Qualcomm is a leading supplier of processors with modems built directly onto the same slice of silicon as the processor.

Demand for phone processors -- referred to generally as an AP or application processor -- with a built-in modem is increasing as the demand for low-cost phones rises.

Samsung Exynos chips -- like the Exynos 5 Octa -- do not have integrated modems. Nor do the chips that Samsung has manufactured for Apple.

Though Samsung is making processors for the iPhone 5, Apple is expected to switch to another chipmaker -- such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company or TSMC -- for the iPhone 6. It's not clear if Apple will integrate the modem onto the processor in future chips.

A recent report in the Korea Economic Daily claimed Samsung will return as a supplier to Apple with a future A9 processor, which is at least a couple of years down the road.

That same report claimed TSMC will be the manufacturer of the next round of Apple processors.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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