Apple and Samsung are competitors in the smartphone market, but they’re actually business partners when it comes to making Apple’s proprietary processors that power the iPhone.
Now we’re learning that despite Apple’s attempts to avoid working with the Korean tech giant, Samsung will make the A9 chip for the next iPhone, according to a Re/code report.
Apple reportedly sought out a partnership with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), but chose to work with Samsung because it was able to make Apple’s chip at a smaller size, enabling a sleeker smartphone.
In January Samsung agreed to make the chip for the Apple Watch as well.
Apple’s business means a lot to Samsung. The company’s bottom line suffered last fall when Apple decided to shift most of its iPhone 6 chip manufacturing to TSMC.
Samsung’s success making mobile processors has even squeezed chip-maker Qualcomm, which recently admitted it wouldn’t be working on a key customer’s next phone (the customer is probably Samsung).
Apple and Samsung have had a tenuous relationship since the iPhone maker sued Samsung in 2012 over a number of alleged patent infringements.