It may be the end of an era. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung’s (SSNLF.PK) rivalry seems to be driving the iPhone maker to switch to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (NYSE:TSM) as its chief supplier of mobile device chips.
From the beginning, Samsung has built Apple’s mobile A-series chips, which have been powered iPads and iPhones since 2010. Even the latest chips in the iPhone 5 and fourth-generation iPad are made by the company’s Korean competitor.
But, the tense rivalry between Apple and Samsung — which has put the two companies head to head in courtrooms around the world — could be slowly bringing an end to their business partnership. Chips could be one of the first things taken out of the relationship.
A report from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News suggested that Apple is planning to build its next chip — currently referred to as the ”A7″ — on a 20-nanometer process next year. TSMC’s plans to roll out a chipset of that size next year have given credence to the rumor that Apple may be contemplating a manufacturer switch. TSMC CEO Morris Chang has already expressed his excitement over the new chips, making a prediction that they will outsell its current 28-nanometer chips in the first 2 years of production…