Hardly surprising. Samsung is a competitor of Apple in the phone and tablet segment, so it makes sense for Apple to fab their processors elsewhere. If that's a sign of things to come, Samsung will perhaps spin-off its foundry business.
Thanks for the reply/comment @PHW_#1, it looks like it could be good information and a good qualification well worth noting. Do you happen to have knowledge if Apple's technology concerns went beyond cost? Besides the "in competition" aspect, the article makes it sound as if cost is THE motivating factor for them.
Paul's comment only right about global foundry camp including Samsung. Samsung has enough market to support their own fab's capacity. TSMC defines the specs for all 45/40/28 IDM/design houses. Global foundries "matched" to TSMC's specs in 45/40. TSMC and global foundries diverted a lot in 28nm. Apple has no choice in 28nm,just like Qualcom/TI/nVidia/AMD... Majority design house can't trust global foundries for manufacturing from past experience. You need to pay entrance fee for doing 28nm desgin in TSMC. It is not like you have alternatives in advanced technology. TSMC makes a lot of money in leading edge, their gross margin is no less than Intel and a lot of design houses are paying their future RD development fee. Too bad, no real players right now can compete with TSMC.
Well I am thinking that Samsung is seriously disappointed. They seem sincere that they want to succeed in the foundry business but if every potential customer can't get past Samsung being a [potential] competitor then it's going to be a tough road ahead since Samsung competes in a LOT of areas where semiconductors are deployed. Furthermore, reported within these EETimes pages in February Otellini pointed out that the foundry biz could be a rough one over the next few years due to oversupply... and if true then this announcement has got to represent a real bad way to start 2011. I also think it's hilarious that reason #2 for Apple to change horses is 40nm production; in March, 2010 Samsung made its case for better foundry outlook based on its 4xnm manufacturing, and in early 2009 reportedly one over Xilinx also based on its 4xnm roadmap. Possibly all of this may be a manifestation of what Ottellini stated in the February 18 article... that "Foundries make money not on the leading-edge but on the trailing edge, with long running products." Samsung was the right choice, competition or no, to boot-strap a lively new compute platform while the run-on products will do better (economically speaking) with a foundry that keeps cost LOW and does a fine job with trailing edge technology.