Apple has been using South Korean manufacturers for quite some time now for products like the iPads display panels and CPU's. But recent reports are suggesting that Apple is trying to shift both its panel production and also move its CPU production to TSMC's 20nm process, leaving their dependence on Samsung in the dust.
J.T. Hsu of Citigroup has reportedly told the China Economic News that Apple have been looking at TMSC, researching the possible use of the manufacturing arm's 20nm process for future quad-core processors. Hsu also teased that preliminary production may begin as soon as next month, with volume production expected to begin near the end of 2013."
Apple already rely on Samsung for much of their chip production, regardless of the fact that the two companies are constantly arguing over patent lawsuits. But money is money and both companies, disputing patents or not need to sell their hardware.
So could this be the next step in the war between the two companies, or is Apple just moving to the company that best suits their needs? who knows really, but only time will tell how this one is going to pan out for Samsung, Apple and of course consumers.
It's simple logistics really, Apple wants to get more product, of a better quality but they also want to pay less for it. This not only improves their product margin but one day could actually see reductions in prices on some of their products. I wouldn't hold your breath for that last part though.