The current producer of the iPhone X‘s A11 processor and the company widely expected to produce the chip powering Apple’s iPhone 9, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), has been hit by a massive computer virus outbreak that may cause delays to its product shipments.
The outbreak occurred on August 3rd, and was disclosed the following day. It occurred due to what TSMC refers to as a “misoperation” that happened during the installation of a new tool. The company has said that its product shipments could be delayed, and that it has notified most of its customers of the issue, CNBC reports.
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It did not detail exactly which customers have been affected or which it had contacted, but did say that no confidential information had been compromised.
As a result of the virus, the company has revised its revenue forecast for the third quarter − during which time the next generation of the iPhone is expected to launch − cutting its estimates by 3%. .
It’s not all bad news though. KGI’s analysts have issued a note to say that surplus chipsets are usually manufactured to protect end products from any supply side shocks, and Fubon Research only expects 1.5 million to 1.7 million A12 chips to be delayed out of the 83 million total that will be produced in the second half of 2018. That’s around 2% of total manufacturing output.
Supply side shocks
The components that make up a modern device are so far removed from the final product that it can sometimes be hard to see the two as being related. But issues with chip manufacturers have gone on to have a real impact on the availability of consumer tech.
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Back in 2011, for example, floods in Thailand led to as much as a 30% drop in hard drive manufacturing output in the first three months of 2012.
The difference here is that just one company has been affected rather than an entire sector, so it’s unclear how big the impact might be.
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