An analysis from DigiTimes has developed statistics on the sales of microchips from South Korean technology giants Samsung – with a very surprising name responsible for a huge majority of transactions in that sector.
The study found that 80% of Samsung’s chip revenue comes from Apple, who used the items in many of their devices last year, the same period which saw the two companies embroiled in an (ongoing) argument in court over ‘patented’ features for their respective products.
While a total of 7 other companies (Marvell, Qualcomm, Renesas, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments, Toshiba, and Xilinx) were recognised as forming the remaining 20% of Samsung’s microchip income, any form of involvement from Apple, let along such a significant one, will come as a surprise to many of the neutral onlookers of their feud.
DigiTimes Research summarised their findings from the investigation, writing: “Digitimes Research estimates that Apple accounted for 80% of Samsung’s foundry revenues in 2012. With the development of its advanced technology, Samsung is expected to attract more orders from IDMs and customers other than Apple. Orders placed by its non-Apple customers, which include Qualcomm, Texas Instrument, Xilinx, Marvell, STMicroelectronics, Toshiba and Renesas, collectively accounted for 20% of Samsung’s foundry revenues in 2012.”
However, despite the South Korean company being rumoured to have invested heavily in ‘chip production factories’ during 2012 (at an estimated $7b cost that includes a $4b spend on an iPhone/iPad microchip component plant in Austin (USA)), Apple themselves are now being rumoured to go for what everyone would feel should be the status quo, with suggestions that they may drop Samsung as their chip supplier in favour of the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company when the contract with the former expires in 2014.
Making their main product’s lead rivals spend all that money with them in mind, only to walk off with another supplier at the earliest possible moment, it’s almost as though the whole partnership was planned from the start by Apple…