Apple A12 and Snapdragon 700 Chip Production May Lead TSMC to Earn Record Profits in 2018 After All

Monday April 23, 2018 5:48 AM PDT by Joe Rossignol

Last week, Apple supplier TSMC saw its shares decline around nine percent after it cut its full-year revenue growth target to 10 percent, compared to its previous 10-15 percent estimate. The manufacturer blamed the cut on lower-than-expected smartphone demand and growing uncertainty in the cryptocurrency mining market.


Apple's stock also declined around four percent on Friday, as many analysts equated the slowing smartphone demand with poor or declining sales of the iPhone X, which has an A11 Bionic chip fabricated by TSMC, in the second quarter.

Now, a report from DigiTimes suggests that TSMC may post better-than-projected revenues and profits in 2018 after all, as it gradually ramps up volume production of so-called A12 chips for Apple's next-generation iPhone lineup. The wafers are expected to be manufactured based on TSMC's advanced 7nm process.

The sources said that TSMC will see its revenue ratio for advanced 7nm process hit a high of 20 percent in 2018, and may therefore post better-than-projected revenues and profits for the second half of the year and register an annual revenue growth of over 10 percent.

TSMC may also benefit from Qualcomm's decision to roll out its new Snapdragon 700 series processors in May, ahead of schedule, according to the report. Qualcomm has allegedly grabbed significant orders from non-Apple smartphone vendors and will have TSMC fabricate the chips in the second half of the year.

The report is questionable given that TSMC presumably factored in production of A12 chips into its revenue guidance last week, but the better-than-projected revenues could rest more on the Qualcomm portion of the news.

How much money TSMC makes is a data point that Apple analysts often attempt to interpret in order to gauge iPhone sales. A constant flow of reports have claimed iPhone X sales have significantly declined following the device's late 2017 launch quarter, but Apple has yet to disclose any official figures.

Apple will report its second quarter earnings results on Tuesday, May 1, including how many iPhones it sold during the January-March period, but it doesn't provide a model-by-model breakdown of sales. Apple reported record-breaking revenue of $88.3 billion and 77.3 million iPhone sales in the first quarter.

Top Rated Comments

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25 months ago
Yeah okay. Just make your software better so we can actually feel the full benefits of these chips. An iPhone 8 doesn’t really run that much faster than an iPhone 6S. I don’t really care about some numbers on a geekbench, doesn’t impress me as much anymore.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
25 months ago
A12: So powerful, you need a new battery in less than 12 months.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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25 months ago
I think it’s time we get 0% improvement in speed but use all the efficiencies of the new manufacturing process for battery life gains.

Who’s with me? :D
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
25 months ago

Last week, TSMC lowered their revenue guidance due to soft demand for a “very high end smartphone” according to the CEO.

TSMC bet on iPhone X and lost. I really doubt Digitmes knows more than TSMC themselves and this far ahead of time.

How do we now it’s the X and not the Samsung 9, which by all accounts is a soft seller?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
25 months ago

Last week, TSMC lowered their revenue guidance due to soft demand for a “very high end smartphone” according to the CEO.

TSMC bet on iPhone X and lost. I really doubt Digitmes knows more than TSMC themselves and this far ahead of time.


Absolutely ridiculous. The iPhone 8/8P also use the A11 processor. Apple posted record sales the previous quarter (Q1 2018) and their guidance is for a record breaking Q2 2018 as well. There’s no “soft demand” for the A11.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
25 months ago
Last week, TSMC lowered their revenue guidance due to soft demand for a “very high end smartphone” according to the CEO.

TSMC bet on iPhone X and lost. I really doubt Digitmes knows more than TSMC themselves and this far ahead of time.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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