Apple may be leveraging its market power to shift production contracts away from Samsung to a greater extent than currently believed.
Following the conclusion of a legal battle that had Apple walk away with more than $1 billion in damages paid by Samsung, a production switch may be the far greater financial blow, given current estimates from IHS that Apple will be selling 149 million iPhones and close to 60 million iPads this year. According to Digitimes, it appears that if TSMC can prove it has what it takes to produce Apple's chips, it may be able to grab the lion's share of the business.
It is unlikely, however, that Apple will be making the same mistake again and rely on a single source for one of the key components of its devices. Just like the company diversified its memory supplier base, it would not be surprising if the company did the same with its processor. It is not a secret that Globalfoundries has been courting Apple for some time now to get into play as well. Digitimes noted that if TSMC is in fact in talks with Apple, the company's 16nm FinFET process to be Apple's most likely choice.
At this time, Samsung remains the sole production company of the iPhone and iPad processors.