Competing against Apple’s iPhone must be an excruciating task for Samsung. While it’s publicly dreaming to beat the iPhone with every Galaxy S or Galaxy Note model it launches, Samsung must secretly want the iPhone to succeed. The more iPhones that sell, the better for Samsung’s bottom line.
A new report shows that come next year, Samsung will get to manufacture A-series chips for the iPhone and iPad again. Samsung lost the chips contract to TSMC after the iPhone 6s, with Apple choosing the Taiwan-based foundry for 2016 and 2017 iPhones.
According to The Investor Samsung will manufacture some of the A12-branded chips that will power the iPhone 9 next year, or whatever Apple ends up calling its 2018 iPhones.
One of the Samsung execs that oversees the chips and other parts businesses apparently played a key role in convincing Apple to ink a new deal with Samsung, the report notes.
“The CEO could persuade Apple’s top brass taking advantage of their close ties on OLED,” a source said, referring to Samsung’s Kwon Oh-hyun.
Samsung is currently the only OLED display supplier for the iPhone, with the iPhone 8 expected to be the first iPhone in Apple’s history to feature OLED screen technology.
Samsung will make 7nm chips for Apple’s 2018 iPhone, the report notes, which should be even faster and more energy efficient than the 10nm chips that power this year’s flagship handsets, including the iPhone 8.
Samsung has recently purchased extreme violet lithography machines, “the most advanced chip manufacturing equipment,” as The Investor puts it. Samsung will complete its 7nm chip tests soon and seek approval from Apple for chip production.
TSMC will also make 7nm chips for 2018 iPhones, but it’s unclear what the split will be.