Apple's A12 chip maker gears for stellar iPhone 2018 sales, 5nm A14 on the horizon

Apple's A12 chip maker gears for stellar iPhone 2018 sales, 5nm A14 on the horizon
Apple is gearing up to release not one or two but three new iPhones this year, and they will all likely be powered by the first commercial 7nm chipset, the A12, produced in the TSMC foundry factories. Said TSMC, however, just lowered its revenue forecast for the third quarter, citing "lethargic" sales of mobile and cryptocurrency mining chips.

Looking further ahead, however, TSMC execs are optimistic for a big recovery in Q4, or right about the time that all new iPhone sales will be in full swing. As per the CEO: "recently the development in smartphone units actually recovered. So it’s better than we forecast three months ago, but it’s not a big variation from what we forecast." A Bernstein analyst added after the earnings press conference that "there is upside to Apple orders but they will mainly contribute to sales in the fourth quarter," and that the "weakness mainly comes from crypto."

Adding two and two together, we can reasonably expect that Apple's forecast for the new iPhone 2018 sales is very optimistic if TSMC thinks its orders will be able to offset the chip demand doldrums it is currently in. Analysts are predicting a super-cycle of upgrades (for real this time, not like with the iPhone X) from people with iPhones two years and older, and TSMC better speed up the conveyor belts. 

As for the 5nm process that made pilot runs at TSMC not long ago, sorry, that one's mass production has been postponed for the first half of 2020, and, potentially, for the groundbreaking iPhones that will come two years from now with an A14 silicon, bummer.

source: Bloomberg

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