May 17, 2007 – Rumors have been circulating for months about who Apple has chosen to supply components for its much-ballyhooed iPhone. But one analyst thinks the best long-term partner to supply the chip technology for Apple’s iPhone isn’t yet in the mix.
When the iPhone was showed off earlier this year, reports surfaced that Samsung won all the device’s microprocessor sockets, with other component winners including Infineon, Marvell, and CSR (plus ARM crowing about placing several of its cores). Also, a lot of business will be enjoyed by production houses in Taiwan, including TSMC, ASE, and Siliconware Precision to whom those providers will farm out the pure manufacturing work.
Now, Sramana Mitra surmises that Intel is working on a chip for devices that would compete against Apple’s iPhone, and makes the case that the only chip company with the chops to provide all that Apple would want in its iPhone chip — processing, low power consumption, and high-end functionality for video, GPS, etc. — would be Texas Instruments.
Mitra notes, though, that while TI is most likely not supplying the chip in the short run, a TI-Apple partnership in the long run makes sense, if only due to competitive attrition — Intel wants to power iPhone challengers, Samsung is supporting its own device, and Qualcomm is mired in standards litigation.