Samsung still Apple's choice for A6 production

Samsung and Apple might still be at loggerheads over which company stole which patents, but it looks like the next-generation Apple mobile processor for the iPhone 5 and iPad 3 will still bear the Samsung logo.

Samsung has been making chips for Apple's portable products since the very beginning, using its expertise from the design of its own Exynos application processors and its licence from British chip giant ARM to produce a rather integral component to Apple's mobile race.

When Apple came out an accused Samsung of outright theft in the design of its Galaxy product line - resulting in bans on sale and import left, right and centre - it was generally assumed that the companies' previously stable relationship was at an end.

Indeed, rumours spread that Apple was transitioning its silicon production across to Taiwan Semiconductor specifically so it could thumb its nose at Samsung from a safe distance, without fear of suddenly finding its semiconductor supply constrained.

The latest word, however, has it that the next-generation quad-core A6 chip is being produced at Samsung's fab in Texas, with the company increasing - not decreasing - its output.

"Apple has been in talks with Samsung over shipment of its A6 quad-core mobile processor chips to be used in the next iPhone," claimed an anonymous industry source speaking to the Korea Times. "It appears that Apple clearly has concluded that Samsung remains a critical business partner."

It's big news: with the iPhone 4S proving a best-seller, the iPhone 5 can be predicted to be big business too - and Samsung will be getting a cut of the proceeds.

With Samsung and Apple still battling in the courts, that's something with which Apple is unlikely to be happy - but appears unable to change.

Neither Apple nor Samsung was able to comment on the speculation.