Apple will design its own power-management chips for its iPhones starting in 2018, according to Japanese news agency Nikkei.
Dialog Semiconductor, a manufacturer located in the United Kingdom, currently produces the chips for Apple.
One source told Nikkei that Apple would make about half its own power-management chips, starting next year, while another source saying production could be delayed until 2019.
According to Nikkei, the Apple-designed chips would be solely manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), the world’s biggest contract chipmaker and sole supplier of Apple’s core processor chips for iPhones since 2016. TSMC also makes Dialog’s power-management chips.
However, a Dialog spokesperson told Nikkei that it’s business as usual between the two companies. “The level of visibility into the design cycle of our leading customers remains unchanged and the business relationships are in line with the normal course of business,” the spokesman said. Dialog receives about half its revenue from Apple, according to analyst estimates.
Apple has a long history of replacing small chip suppliers over the past ten years. More recently, Apple announced it would part with London, England-based Imagination Technologies, which had previously supplied graphics chips for various Apple products, such as iPhones and iPods.
As with Dialog, more than half of Imagination’s revenue came from its deal with Apple, making it a severe blow to the company’s financial health. Imagination launched a lawsuit against Apple, alleging that the company wouldn’t be able to make its own graphics cards without violating Imagination’s patent.