Apple and Qualcomm have both put in investment bids that topped at around $1 billion in an effort to secure exclusive access to chip supplies from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), but the bids have been declined since the company wanted to retain flexibility for their production. Apple is clearly trying to lessen their dependence on Samsung for their product supplies.
According to Bloomberg:
“The two companies are trying to satisfy booming demand for smartphones, a market estimated by to be worth $219.1 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Industries. Any deal would give Apple an alternate supplier to Samsung Electronics Co., which builds the main chip used in the iPhone and iPad and is also its biggest rival in smartphones. Qualcomm needs to boost supply, since shortages are starting to limit earnings.”
TSMC has indicated recently that they would be open to dedicating one or two of their factories to a single customer, but it is not clear whether Apple is pursuing this option. Back in March 2011, it was rumored that Apple worked with TSMC on production of the Ax-series chips that are used on iOS devices.