iPhone 5S May Not Employ a New A-Series Chip

The existing A6/A6X SoCs will have to do if rumors about Samsung are correct

By on November 30th, 2012 14:46 GMT

Apple’s fragile relationship with Samsung is said to be coming to an abrupt end, as the two giants are finding it more and more difficult to co-exist in the technology industry. Because of this, the future of at least one Apple product is beginning to seem uncertain.

Every year pundits are able to predict the specifications of Apple’s next A-series chip with a high degree of accuracy.

Whosever fault it is that these leaks occur, Apple can count on Samsung’s commitment to build a massive amount of new A-series chips with each passing generation.

Scrub that. According to the latest rumors, Apple will soon relinquish Samsung’s massive foundries in favor of another chip maker. There’s just one problem though – time.

“Shifting chip manufacturers isn't easy and requires a complete redo of production and manufacturing process,” says analyst Amit Daryanani, according to AppleInsider.

Daryanani wrote in a note to investors on Friday, “Hence, these changes will take 12-18 months at minimum and won't be commercially sold 'til 2014.”

In other words, if the rumors about Apple dumping Samsung are true, the Cupertino company won’t be able to churn up a faster A7 chip for its iPhone 5S / iPhone 6 in 2013.

The best it can do is equip the smartphone with the A6X chip used in the latest iPad. And only if it’s technically possible.

Even if rumors about a faster incremental iPhone 5S update are true, it still leaves very little time for Apple to get its refresh cycle back on track.

So far, there are few candidates for the chip manufacturing job, Daryanani says.

The two most likely companies for Apple to choose are Intel and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, he says.

Both TSMC and Intel pose advantages and disadvantages, but only one of them is said to have been interested in such a relationship. That company is Intel.

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