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Apple bid for exclusive TSMC chip supply access denied, report says

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Apple chipIn an attempt to diversify its mobile processor supply chain, Apple reportedly offered Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. upwards of $1 billion for dedicated production, but was denied as the chip maker wants to remain agile in a booming smartphone market.

According to people familiar with the situation, TSMC denied separate investment bids from Apple and Qualcomm, both of which wanted the chip maker to dedicate a portion of its production line to making chips for them, reports Bloomberg.



Apple currently sources the A-series chips used in its mobile devices from Samsung, making the two companies strange bedfellows as the Korean electronics giant is one of Apple's biggest competitors in the smartphone industry. Samsung also supplies Apple with displays and other components used in iDevices and MacBooks.

Complicating matters is the outcome of the high-stakes Apple v. Samsung patent trial, which found Samsung to have violated six Apple design and utility patents. The Korean company was hit with over $1 billion in damages and is facing a permanent injunction against eight infringing devices, with a hearing regarding the sales ban scheduled for Dec. 6.

The somewhat rocky relationship may have prompted Apple to seek out an alternate chip maker, however it is likely the company merely wants options as its iPhone and iPad business skyrockets. During Apple's conference call for the third fiscal quarter of 2012, it was revealed that iPad sales grew to 17 million units for the three month period, a 28 percent jump year-to-year. iPhone sales were also strong at 26 million units, representing a 28 percent boost from the year-ago quarter.

In a statement to investors last month, TSMC Chairman Morris Chang said he was willing to devote one or two factories to a single customer, however it appears the company is either not yet ready to take that step or feels Apple and Qualcomm's bids were too low...Read more on appleinsider.com

Last modified on Wednesday, 29 August 2012 14:13

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