Is Apple Going American for Its Next Processor?
(Benzinga Lightning Feed Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is rumored to be seeking as much as 10 percent of the orders for Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) upcoming A7 processor.
The A7 processor is expected to launch with either the next iPhone or iPad. Currently the firm's most powerful chip is the A6X, a dual-core processor with quad-core graphics. It is featured exclusively in the fourth-generation iPad. The standard A6 can be found within the iPhone 5.
Some of the previous A-series processors have been manufactured by Samsung. After enduring a number of patent disputes, however, Apple has been eager to get away from its South Korean competitor. Thus, it may turn to others for help in manufacturing its next-generation processor.
According to DigiTimes, Intel may fight for as much as 10 percent of the A7 processor orders, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company could take 40 percent. Despite being Apple's sworn enemy, Samsung is still expected to manufacture 50 percent of the chips.
The unannounced A7 processor appeared to have a major leak when the first reported image appeared online. It turned out to be a Photoshop fake, crushing the hopes of those who had believed the processor was about to be unveiled.
Apple is unlikely to talk about the A7 processor before the third quarter. While the company could feasibly upgrade the iPhone or iPad this spring, many analysts agree that Apple's hottest items will not be released until the second half of the year.
With the release date so far away, few rumors have indicated exactly how much power Apple may cram into its future devices. Current reports suggest that fingerprint scanning (for security purposes) and NFC (near field communication) will be a big part of the iPhone 5S or possibly the iPhone 6. The latter feature has been rumored for some time, however, and Apple has yet to adopt this technology.
NFC is expected to become an essential feature as credit card companies like Visa (NYSE: V) turn to mobile phones as a new way for consumers to make purchases. Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) has attempted to jump on this technology with a service of its own for Android phones. Some carriers are against the initiative, however, as they would prefer to lead the mobile payments industry themselves.
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