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Apple reportedly taps Samsung for A6 chip despite patent issues

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Apple (s aapl)will be keeping its processor manufacturing business with Samsung for its next-generation chip, according to a new report from the Korea Times on Monday. Samsung is Apple’s primary supplier for its in-house designed mobile processors, which power the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. If the new report is true, Samsung will continue to be a key contributor to Apple’s business for at least the next generation of its mobile devices, despite stormy legal waters between the two companies.

Reports have been circulating that Apple has been in the process of trying to switch its chip-making business to Samsung rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) in an effort to cut ties with the Korean smartphone and component manufacturer. TSMC, however, hasn’t been able to get the manufacturing process right, according to one of the Korea Times‘ sources, which means Apple had little choice but to go with Samsung.

Meanwhile, Samsung and Apple’s legal battles around the world have recently become more, not less divisive. Apple recently won several key victories in courts around the world, including an injunction secured in Australia against the Galaxy Tab 10.1, and the successful prevention of a similar injunction against its own products in the Netherlands.

Statements made by Apple only indicate that things will get worse between the two companies before they get better. In court documents published Friday, Apple noted that it would only be interested in licensing its “lower level patents,” indicating that it wasn’t interested in a broad cross-licensing deal to end litigation. Samsung, too, has been talking tough about plans to beat Apple in appeals in areas where it has seen unfavorable rulings, according to another Korea Times article.

Legal battles notwithstanding, Samsung is reportedly already working on production of the Apple A6 chips in its manufacturing plant in Austin, Texas, according to the Korea Times’ sources. The chips are said to be quad-core, and will be used to power the next iPhone, according to the report. TSMC will continue to produce small volumes of custom chips for Apple, but it won’t be able to take over the bulk of Apple’s chip-making duties any time in the near future.