iPhone 4S & iPad 2 Chipsets Now Built In Texas

Samsung has brought the production of the Apple A5 system on chip, which powers the iPhone 4S and the iPad 2, to Austin, Texas.

It is not known why Samsung decided to do this rather than relying on its South Korean plant, in particular given the fact that the chips will have to be shipped back to China anyway to Apple's ODM partner, Foxconn, for assembly.

According to a report by Reuters' Poornima Gupta, the chip will be built in a new 1.6 million square-foot factory in Austin that cost $3.6 billion. Apple has been rumoured to be looking to reduce its dependency on Samsung with which it has a very strange "frienemy" relationship.

Samsung's Galaxy range of smartphones, tablets and portable media players have been without any doubt the biggest thorn in Apple's side in 2011, with a year-long legal battle between the two being one of the highlights of the year in technology.

Samsung however enjoys a symbiotic bond with Apple, with both reportedly working on an agreement at the beginning of the year to buy components (system on chips, displays, memory, Flash storage) worth $7.8 billion.

As for the A5 and its successors, it is likely that both Samsung and Apple will continue their relationship; otherwise, why would Samsung have invested so much in a non-memory logic factory?