It should come as no surprise that Apple is rumored to be buying a chip foundry and if it’s true then Apple will have the freedom to develop and manufacture their own chips on their own terms.
This rumor was posted by SemiAccurate and suggests that the foundry in question is United Microelectronics Corporation, which is based in Taiwan and a publicly traded company.
While the full article by SemiAccurate is behind a hefty paywall that is too expensive for us mere mortals to afford ($1000 a year) the reliability of such rumors is always a topic of interest. One such rumor from 2011 about switching processors never came to fruition but another rumor concerning graphic processors for MacBooks did prove to be accurate.
Just last month the Wall Street Journal reported a deal between Apple and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) to manufacture chips for iOS devices in 2014 after years of struggles to meet the standards set by Apple.
“Longstanding rumors have pegged Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. as Apple’s most likely chipmaking partner. Just last month, The Wall Street Journal reported that after years of talks, Apple had finally inked a deal with TSMC to build mobile chips beginning in 2014.”
If this new rumor is accurate then it will be interesting to see if this is simply a diversification of chip offerings or if Apple has some grander plans. No matter what happens a transition to new chips or a new manufacturing process could potentially take years to complete and so current partnerships will likely remain in place for the time being.
Perhaps such struggles are the impetus for seeking more than partnerships with chip manufacturers or perhaps these rumors are all unrelated. Time will tell.