A new note today from Ming-Chi Kuo looks at how Apple’s A-series chips will guide the future of the company including its Apple Car efforts, Mac, and iPhone. He believes we could see Macs with Apple chips by 2020, while an autonomous Apple Car system may be run from custom silicon by 2023.
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As for Apple’s chip manufacturer, TSMC, Kuo believes that the vendor will continue to reap the rewards of being sole A-series chip supplier. He also predicts that Apple will become more and more dependent on TSMC due to its high quality design and production compared to other manufacturers and that there’s no conflict of interest between the two, unlike Samsung who provides displays for Apple.
Under the expectation that the iPhone XR will sell better than expected, Kuo says TSMC will have a better Q1 in 2019 with the A12 than it did producing the A11. The note also predicts that TSMC will be the sole supplier for Apple for the A13 next year as well as the A14 in 2020.
As for future expectations, Kuo believes we’ll see Apple introduce the first Mac with custom ARM-based chips in 2020 or 2021. This echoes a report earlier this year from Bloomberg. He notes the benefits of the move such as being off Intel’s processor release schedule, higher profit margins, and potentially higher market share if Apple chooses to offer lower prices on future Macs.
In the long-term, Kuo predicts that TSMC will produce custom chips for “Apple Car’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems.” He forecasts that Apple’s vehicle efforts will bring Level 4 or Level 5 fully autonomous driving to consumers. He says that only TSMC’s 3nm or 5nm chip process in the future will enable that level of autonomous driving.