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Apple moving away from Samsung's chips, analysts say

Apple has cut its order from Samsung, and is looking to other suppliers to power the iPhone.

The odd relationship between Apple and Samsung has taken a turn for the seriously frosty, according to analysts. Apple is becoming increasingly less dependent on the Korean company for the chips to power its mobile phones, our sister site CNET News reports.

We'd previously heard a rumour about Apple going to other chip suppliers, and now it looks like it's started the process. I guess winning a billion dollars from your partner in a lawsuit is bound to put a strain on any relationship.

"Apple is working with TSMC at 20 nanometers," said Gus Richard, a chip analyst at Piper Jaffray. He's referring to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's most advanced 20-nanometer manufacturing process.

Apple would have shifted allegiance already, if it were not for contractual obligations, according to another analyst. The unnamed source told CNET: "The Apple-Samsung relationship has deteriorated to such a poor point that they're just looking to fill contractual obligations, then make a change."

A report from Asia says Apple is moving to TSMC for quad-core chips, which is to the detriment of other TSMC clients. Richard said: "TSMC has allocated a disproportionate amount of resources to Apple. And has pushed out other [TSMC customers] in the process.

"They'll ramp down Samsung and ramp up TSMC. And some products will get some of one and some of the other."

According to Richard, Apple will send the design and requirements to TSMC early next year, with production kicking in by the end of 2013. It's far from a done deal, but the gears are very much in motion.

We heard last month Apple had reduced its chips order from Samsung. It could also have some of Samsung's devices banned from sale in the US, following the court case to end all court cases.

What do you think of the relationship between the two? Let me know in the comments below, or on Facebook page.