Apple dropping Samsung chips for 2012 devices

In a move which could see Samsung dropped from Apple's supplier roster, the iPhone maker is reportedly sampling chips for the next-next generation of iDevices with Taiwanese fab TSMC.

According to a Reuters report, Apple has already started a trial run of A6 chips which could find their way into the iPad 3 and iPhone 6, probably some time in 2012.

Samsung, which is currently the only supplier of A4 and A5 chips, most likely designed by Brit design outfit ARM, that appear in the current batch of iOS-driven devices like the iPhone 4 and iPad 2.

Apple is currently embroiled in an unseemly tit-for-tat battle with Samsung over copyright and licensing issues and many will see a move to TSMC as part of the fallout.

TSMC is the world's largest contract supplier of chips, has promised to spend close to $8 billion adding capacity to its manufacturing plants, and has plenty of experience building ARM-designed silicon.