Samsung’s involvement in the next iPhone model has been well documented with the Korean company set to make 90% of the new A9 chips that will be used in Apple products in 2015. After winning that huge contract to make the new processor with 14nm FinFET technology Samsung is readying to put the A9 into production. In fact, the company is prepping its manufacturing plant in Austin, Texas and has started making the chip this week.
The first A9 chips have rolled off Samsung’s fabrication lines in Austin (reports the Korean Electronic Times). The chips will be used in the next-generation iPhone smartphones from Apple, potentially exploiting Samsung’s 14nm technology. I’m confident that Phil Schiller will have a number of graphs ready for a presentation to show the A9 is faster, more efficient, and uses less battery power than ‘any other chip we’ve ever designed’. Questions remain over which device the A9 chip will power and when it will be launched. Many industry watchers are still considering the idea of two iPhone releases next year, one to coincide with the launch of the Apple Watch in early Q2 and a second in the traditional September slot. Releasing an A9-powered smartphone after the A8-powered iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have been on sale for just over half a year feels like a bad move that will affect customer goodwill. The initial adopters (and all of those who have picked up a new iPhone at Christmas or as part of the Chinese New Year) will be left with ‘last years model’ after a far shorter release window than normal.