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There have been rumors circulating that Apple would be moving the production of its next-generation custom-designed A6 mobile processor to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (NYSE: TSM ) . The previous and current generations, the A4 and A5, are both fabricated by Sammy. The Korea Times is now reporting that Apple is expected to retain Samsung as its key business partner in producing the chips, despite the ongoing global patent war.
The report elaborates that the quad-core A6 processor is slated to be manufactured out of Samsung's facilities in Austin, Texas. Taiwan Semi is said to have some issues with its production capabilities, which haven't been "stabilized." Apple isn't willing to take risks with the capacity it requires, seeing as how the company just moved 4 million units in three days. The report doesn't mention the next-next generation of A7 chips, so those could potentially still be on the table for Taiwan Semi if it can work out its kinks.
NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA ) has stepped up the game with its quad-core Tegra mobile CPU, with Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM ) and Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN ) nipping its heels with their own quad-core processors slated for next year -- the Snapdragon and OMAP5, respectively.
On a side note, the report also mentions that industry sources expect next year's iPhone to feature a 4-inch display supplied by LG Display (NYSE: LPL ) , half an inch larger than the 3.5-inch display it has always sported. It goes on to say that the Retina Display resolution will remain unchanged, and it will notably not include OLED technology, to the dismay of Universal Display (Nasdaq: PANL ) .
A larger screen would spread out the pixels and reduce its pixels per inch (PPI), which could threaten to take the "Retina" out of Retina Display, a term Apple initially coined because of the high PPI.
Even though the iPhone 4S launched merely a few days ago, it's almost never too early to speculate on who will make next year's cut.
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