Apple seems to be aiming to reduce its dependence on suppliers. Earlier this year, Cupertino cut its ties with GPU maker Imagination Technologies and later introduced an in-house graphics chip on its latest A11 SoC. Now, word has it that the US tech giant is designing its very own power management chips which could be featured in iPhones as early as 2018.
According to sources of Nikkei Asian Review, the new power management chips would be "the most advanced in the industry". A power management chip controls the energy consumption and charging capabilities of an iPhone, so if this truly is the case, we should expect future Apple handsets to boast superior performance-to-battery life balance and charging speeds.
The latest developments are an absolute disaster for Dialog Semiconductor, the current exclusive supplier of these components. Apple accounted for 74% of Dialog's revenue in 2016, so it's no surprise that the company's shares plunged by 19% after the news broke out. According to the report, Apple wants to use its own in-house power management chips on 50% of the iPhones released in 2018, but the switch could potentially be delayed until 2019. The report also mentions that Apple's custom chips will be manufactured by Taiwan's TSMC.
Apple's ambitions of cutting its dependence on suppliers could very well be a winning strategy. Apart from paying smaller license fees, Cupertino would also be able to consolidate its production chain in order to better compete with its rivals.