Apple has yet to release the iPhone 5 or the rumored iPad 2 HD (Plus), so seems strange that they have now started testing the A6 processor that will power the iPhone 6 and iPad 3. However, it is no surprise really, as Apple has to be prepared; we were not even shocked to learn that Samsung might not be manufacturer either.
TSMC is now said to be testing the new CPU, so we now await confirmation from Apple on this. We have been expecting a change for some time now; it’s no secret that Apple and Samsung are no longer BFFE. Reuters has a few concerns over this report though, and one of them is TSMC’s ability to produce the kind of numbers that would be expected of them.
Things are not entirely dead between Samsung and Apple though, as they are still working together with the A5 chip in the iPad 2, which is also said to be the processor of choice for the upcoming fifth-generation iPhone, which is due out in September. However, both August and October have been suggested as potential release dates as well.
Apple might have a solution to get around supply and demand, Reuters suggests that TSMC might only get a contract to supply up to 30 percent of the A6 CPUs, with Samsung still supplying the majority. However, we cannot feel that this is all part of the transition process. Once TSMC is able to fulfill all 100 percent that could be when Apple will cut their ties with the South Koran electronics maker.
Details of the manufacturer behind the A6 chip might not be shared until the last minute. We know that the iPad 3 will be the first of their iOS devices to get the new processor, so we should expect confirmation of this in March 2011. However, there is the small chance that the A6 chip could find its way inside the rumored new iPad due out later this year.
As you would assume, neither Apple, Samsung or TSMC were available for comment; so yet more mystery for upcoming iOS devices. It is this mystery that helps to keep Apple a favorite with media outlets, as all this speculation makes for a good story. Apple is not stupid either, they know by keeping things to themselves will swirl around the Internet like a tornado, until it finally touches the ground, which will be in the form of Steve Jobs delivering his keynote speech.