Rumours claimed that the A7 processor is in the final stages of design and will enter the production stages in May or June and shipments will take place early next year.
Korean newspaper DigiTimes cited sources from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will "tape out Apple's A7 processor on a 20nm process in March." The "tape out" is a reference to the final stages in circuit design where the photomasking process takes place.
According to the report of DigiTimes, "TSMC is expanding production facilities at 14-fab at the Tainan Science Park with a total investment of NT$500 billion (US$16.87 billion), said the sources, adding that TSMC will utilize 14-fab to manufacture the A7 chips for Apple."
A CNET report stated that Apple is designing its products around TSMC's 20-nanometer process. This would allow it to veer away from its Samsung-manufactured Apple A-series processors, which includes the A6 and A6X chips that are being used in the iPhone 5 and iPad 4, respectively.
With Apple looking to reduce its dependence on frenemy Samsung, the Cupertino-based company is believed to be seeking out alternate options such as chip-maker Intel.
With the production of its chips on schedule, the earlier forecast of an August launch could still be in the offing for Apple's latest updates to its best-selling handset, the iPhone.
iPhone 6 and iPhone 5S Handsets Key Features
Apple is speculated to unleash the two handsets in August of this year and early next year.
According to AppleInsider.com, Chinese company Foxconn, the manufacturer behind most of Apple's products, will exclusively produce the iPhone 6 and iPhone 5S.
Apple is expected to include an improved camera in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 5S which is rumoured to be capable of taking "Super HD" pictures. In order to take snaps at that resolution it will need to have at least a 13 mega-pixel camera.
The lack of NFC support on the iPhone 5 was one of the biggest criticisms of Apple's smartphone. Another recommended feature of the iPhone 5S could include support for the contact-less technology used to pay for items in retail stores.
Other rumoured features that users may look in the handset is the A7 quad core chip processor and Retina or IGZO screen display.
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