Despite lowering its projected revenue for the entire year, TSMC may be on track to post record profits for 2018. This is because the company will be fabricating A12 chipsets for Apple on its advanced 7nm fabrication. Additionally, Qualcomm will also be making use of TSMC’s 7nm foundry for its new smartphone chips.
A report from earlier this year claimed that TSMC would be exclusively fabricating A12 chipset for Apple in 2018. Apple has been exclusively using TSMC’s foundries for fabricating its A-series chipsets. The company had last split the order between Samsung and TSMC with its A9 chip for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. After that, the A10 Fusion and A11 Bionic chips have been exclusively fabricated by TSMC for Apple.
Apple heavily relies on Samsung for various other iPhone components, including the 5.8-inch OLED screen for the iPhone X, so it is understandable that it does not want the Korean company to build another key component for the iPhone.
The DigiTimes report also states that TSMC is “about to start fulfilling orders for fabricating A12 processors on 7nm node.” This indicates that previous reports of the 2018 iPhones entering into trial production within the next month or two. This would ensure that unlike the iPhone X last year, there are no supply issues with the 2018 iPhone lineup. Apple is reported to launch three new iPhones this year, including one rumored to cost around $500-600 and include a 6.1-inch notched LCD display. There will also be an iPhone X Plus with a larger 6.5-inch OLED display along with an upgraded iPhone X.