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Apple's chips and the CEO's visit

  |  February 4, 2014

Apple's chief executive, Tim Cook was in the UAE this week, meeting with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, while also taking in some of the country's sites.

The exact reason for his visit is unknown but many are guessing he was around to scout a location for the region's first official Apple Store and to talk about education. Education has always been one of Apple's core motivators, to supply technology to the education sector and make learning cheaper and easier.

But there is no way that Mr Cook could have visited without having a word about semi-conductor chips. Abu Dhabi is fast becoming a global supplier of these silicon chips through its investment of GlobalFoundries.

GlobalFoundries is rumoured to be supplying Apple with chips for its iPhones and iPads, something that both parties refuse to comment on.

Apple has been using rival Samsung's silicon chips, but as competition between the two smartphone manufacturers intensifies, Apple is unlikely to continue to house South Korean-made semi-conductors for much longer, if at all. With its fabrication plant in New York, GlobalFoundries is closer physically and culturally to meet Apple's chip demand.