Non-Apple chip suppliers seeing slowdown as Apple chain builds up to 'iPhone 8'

Posted:
in iPhone
Although chipmakers in the Apple supply chain saw their orders accelerate in June, suppliers for non-Apple devices have encountered unexpectedly slow orders this year -- possibly because device makers are waiting to see what the "iPhone 8" and/or "iPhone 7s" will bring to the table, according to a report.




Supply firms like MediaTek and HiSilicon have been dealing with decelerating orders, and are warning about disappointing phone chip shipments outside the Apple sphere in the third quarter, DigiTimes sources said on Monday. The people claimed that orders for non-Apple devices should have gathered steam between April and August, but that instead, suppliers don't expect orders to rise significantly until the fourth quarter -- after a likely September announcement of new iPhones.

Apple's main processor manufacturer, TSMC, has seen its non-Apple clients favor 12-nanometer chips instead of 10-nanometer ones, the sources added. The "iPhone 8" and/or the "iPhone 7s" are expected to use a 10-nanometer "A11" processor, and in fact the sources suggested that iPhone sales will likely fuel demand for TSMC's 10-nanometer technology through the first quarter of 2018.

Multiple reports have hinted at production delays for new iPhones, particularly the "iPhone 8." That device is expected to have an edge-to-edge, 5.8-inch OLED display, swapping out a physical home button for a virtual one. Flexible circuit boards as well as embedding Touch ID into the display may be creating issues -- it has even been suggested that Apple could replace Touch ID with the phone's rumored 3D facial recognition technology.

While a September announcement is widely predicted, it's possible that Apple won't actually deliver the "iPhone 8" until October or later -- or it might only have a small number of units ready in September.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,946member
    Waiting to see what Apple does before copying it. That’s the R&D of many companies, especially the Chinese.
    jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 6
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,445member
    Personally I think it's very plausible that the chinese OEM's are taking a wait and see on what features Apple has determined are worthwhile and ready to integrate. It seems those Chinese companies always have access to either the same or similar hardware some way or another, but use Apple as their market and product research arm to figure out which features to copy. :/
    jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 6
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,917member
    Digitimes. Nuff said.
  • Reply 4 of 6
    nhtnht Posts: 4,429member
    lkrupp said:
    Waiting to see what Apple does before copying it. That’s the R&D of many companies, especially the Chinese.
    I think the Chinese are copying Samsung rather than Apple directly...

    Mostly it seems they make a top end snapdragon for a few hundred less than the Samsung and then a set of cheaper phones.
  • Reply 5 of 6

    I don't think less demand for 10nm chipsets by Mediatek and Huawei (HiSilicon) has anything to do with "waiting for iPhone 8" to copy. They do that ALL the time (i.e. throughout the year), before release based on rumors or previous iPhones and after release of latest iPhones.


    The clickbait title itself is misleading. Mediatek is at best a "mid-range" Android SoC volume provider. Their high-end X30 10-nm SoC has very few takers, if any. Meizu (low budget/quality OEM) is one of them. I am not aware of any other popular Android OEM, planning to use Mediatek X30 SoC in their high-cost device so far. The other OEM Huawei releases its flagship Mate series usually in November with their latest Kirin SoC. They don't have a 10nm chipset yet (with the upcoming Kirin 970 on 10nm set for mass production in October/November timeframe I guess), so the demand from them in Apr-Jun OR Jul-Sep quarter would be 0 and that should NOT be surprising either. So TSMC having very little demand for 10nm SoC (apart from huge Apple demand) is fairly obvious, with Samsung fab owning the other 10nm Android SoCs manufacturing (for Qualcomm and themselves).

    edited July 2017 lostkiwi
  • Reply 6 of 6
    nht said:
    lkrupp said:
    Waiting to see what Apple does before copying it. That’s the R&D of many companies, especially the Chinese.
    I think the Chinese are copying Samsung rather than Apple directly...

    Mostly it seems they make a top end snapdragon for a few hundred less than the Samsung and then a set of cheaper phones.
    Your second point is absolutely correct. First point - I don't think so... Apple was/is/will be the aspiration for them when it comes to copying. Sure, there are few odd devices out which copy Sharp/Samsung phones, but they are exceptions, not the norm. And I must add - there are few ORIGINAL beautifully designed devices as well, as exceptions. But, most of them copy iPhones only. As I have explained in my earlier comment, the demand for 10nm SoCs for Mediatek/Huawei has nothing to do with this though.
    edited July 2017
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