Apple Reportedly to Hand Over Chip Reins to Taiwan Semi

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Apple ( AAPL) isn't one to play nice with its competitors, and it looks as if the relationship with Samsung is beginning to come to an end.

Apple reportedly has contracted Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing ( TSM) to start building the A6X chip used in the fourth-gen iPad. Samsung has previously been the manufacturer for Apple's line of chips, but ongoing squabbles between the two technology companies may have played a major role in Apple choosing another partner.

Taiwan Semi will initially do a trial production sometime in the first quarter this year, according to Taiwan's Commercial Times, then move into full scale production later on. It's unclear at this point when Apple products will actually start offering the chips made by Taiwan Semi, as switching manufacturers is a long and complex process.

Apple has had its difficulties with Samsung, as the two companies have been engaged in patent battles in recent years.Apple won a landmark lawsuit against Samsung over the summer, forcing Samsung to pay $1.05 billion in damages.

Shares of Apple were higher in Wednesday trading, gaining 3.16% to $548.97, while Taiwan Semiconductor was tacking on 4.72% to trade at $17.97.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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