Apple A6 Chip

While most Apple-related rumors have focused on the next-generation iPhone, a number of reports are now speculating about a change of hands from its long-time chipmaker, Samsung.

Apple is reportedly testing future iPhones and iPads with processors manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), according to Reuters, which cited "a source with knowledge of the matter."

According to the report, Apple wants to reduce its dependence Samsung, a competitor in the handset business and now, the courtroom. Last week, Apple requested that the International Trade Commission issue an injunction against Samsung Galaxy devices in the U.S. for allegedly copying the look and feel of iOS devices—several months after Apple sued Samsung over the same issue.

"I think TSMC will get the new chip orders, the issue however is allocation. Apple won't give the whole 100 percent to TSMC. Maybe it'll allocate only 20-30 percent," Fubon securities analyst William Wang told Reuters.

Rumors of Apple wanting to ditch Samsung for a Taiwanese semiconductor firm surfaced as far back as February, and resurfaced in June. At the time, a Chinese newspaper reported that Apple might also tap Intel to make A6 processors, but a Merril Lynch analyst said the change in hands wouldn't occur until 2012.

TSMC is the largest contract chipmaker in the world, so even if TSMC picks up Apple's business it won't represent much of a bump to the foundry's existing sales of tablet-optimized chips. If TSMC gets all of Apple's orders for tablet processors in 2012, it would only account for about 2 percent of the company's overall annual sales.

It would be a bigger blow to Samsung, since Apple's contract is reportedly worth $7.8 billion. Samsung supplies Apple's A5 chips, DRAM chips, and LCDs.

For more from Sara, follow her on Twitter @sarapyin.

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