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Apple, Qualcomm reportedly tried to buy exclusive TSMC favor

The custom chip maker rejected separate investment offers in excess of $1 billion that would have reserved production resources for their products, Bloomberg reports.

Was Apple trying to buy exclusive, assured production resources for its next iPhone?

Apple and Qualcomm reportedly tried to secure exclusive access to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. smartphone chips by making separate investment offers in the custom chip maker in excess of $1 billion.

The cash would have assured the investors that production would have been reserved for their products, but both bids were rejected, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. The two companies were trying secure manufacturing resources to satisfy increasing demand for smartphones, a market Bloomberg Industries estimates to be worth $219 billion.

CNET contacted Apple and Qualcomm for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

TSMC, which supplies chips to Qualcomm, Broadcom, Nvidia, and other companies, is willing to devote one or even two factories to a single customer but wants to remain flexible enough to switch production among customers and products, Bloomberg said. However, TSMC says it is not in need of investment capital and is unwilling to sell part of itself.

Such an arrangement would help Apple reduce its dependence on courtroom foe Samsung for mobile device components. Despite rumors early last year that Apple was courting TSMC to produce the A6 processor expected to power the next generation iPad and iPhone, manufacturing issues reportedly kept the chip production contract with Samsung.