TSMC optimistic about 2018 iPhone sales after period of ‘lethargic’ smartphone demand

Apple A-series chipmaker TSMC is optimistic about sales of this year’s iPhones, forecasting ‘high single-digit’ sales growth following ‘lethargic’ demand for smartphone chips …

Bloomberg reports that one of the company’s diversification moves, making high-powered chips for crypto-currency mining kit, had been far less successful than TSMC had hoped.

Taiwan’s largest company, a bellwether for the chip industry as well as an early indicator of iPhone demand, heads into its busiest quarters still grappling with waning enthusiasm for the high-powered chips used to mine digital currencies. Executives told investors Thursday they expected demand for premium devices – such as the iPhone – to help offset crypto-sector lassitude in the second half.

CEO C. C. Wei said TSMC was now expecting stronger smartphone growth than it predicted three months ago, though poor crypto chip sales meant a lower overall revenue projection for the June to September quarter. The bulk of revenue from A-series chips will, of course, kick in during the final quarter of the year.

TSMC has successfully kept ahead of Samsung in ever smaller fabrication processes, the secret to its sole supplier status for the A-series chips used in iPhones and iPads. The A12 chip is expected to use a 7nm process, while the company recently confirmed plans to invest in a 5nm process which it hopes to have ready for volume production in 2020.

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