Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) told both Apple and Qualcomm a definitive ‘NO’ to $1 billion plus offers from each company attempting to lock up future semiconductor capacity. TSMC’s reasoning for not entering exclusive deals with either is simply not having to rely on one single customer.
Rumors have linked Apple and TSMC to be working on manufacturing system-on-chip (SoC) processors for use on iOS devices. Historically Apple relied on Samsung as a primary processor provider. But, a change of heart in relationship status could be connected to recent patent wars. However the real reason may just be that Apple needs greater capacity and is looking to lock up multiple suppliers. Tie that to even greater demand for Samsung’s own phones, there may not be enough chips to go around at Samsung’s factories.
Qualcomm, with their own shortages, also wants to leverage TSMC’s manufacturing capacity. According to Bloomberg, TSMC is already Qualcomm’s biggest supplier and supplies other and appears to want to keep supplying a number of suppliers. Others point to these two separate deals as a possible Apple and Qualcomm partnership, knowing that iOS devices also utilize Qualcomm chips for data access.
It appears the industry is lacking supply of high end components for mobile devices. Each new forecast of mobile phone and tablet adoption shows exponential growth (much faster than expected) and it appears the industry will face shortages for a while longer. Which ultimately means higher prices and longer waits for the latest mobile phones and tablets.
[Source: Ars Technica]