Although it has long been known that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been trying to decrease its reliance on supplier and rival smartphone maker Samsung (SSNLF.PK) by shifting chip production to other manufacturers, a new industry rumor suggests that Apple is taking steps beyond merely diversifying its supply chain. According to a report from the technology news site SemiAccurate, Apple has already made a substantial investment in a chip fabrication plant.
SemiAccurate states that “Apple just bought into a fab, and not in a trivial way either.” Although the full report is blocked behind a paywall, Apple Insider notes that the tags associated with the report seem to suggest that Apple is partnering with United Microelectronics Corporation (NYSE:UMC).
United Microelectronics Corporation is Taiwan-based semiconductor company that has been around since 1980. If this rumor proves to be true, it would be an unprecedented step for Apple since it has previously only designed its mobile chips and sourced the manufacturing to other companies.