Apple competitors are adopting a “wait-and-see” approach to production ahead of the company’s upcoming iPhone launch, according to sources cited in a recent DigiTimes article.
The Taiwanese publication says its sources at back-end manufacturing houses in the semi-conductor industry are reporting that chip suppliers in Apple’s supply chain saw orders recently pick up, while chip demand from non-Apple manufacturers has been slow.
The sources don’t expect orders from those customers to rise substantially until the fourth quarter, warning of disappointing handset-chip shipments in the third quarter.
This extreme level of anticipation from Apple’s competitors is reportedly counter to industry expectations, which had Android chipset orders picking up in April and growing through August.
Fabless firms MediaTek and HiSilicon are two of the companies said to be slowing down the pace of their orders and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is seeing non-Apple customers express more interest in the foundry’s 12nm node manufacturing than the 10nm process technology that sources say Apple will use in its next iPhone.
DigiTime‘s sources report that Apple’s iPhone sales will likely sustain demand for TSMC’s 10nm mobile chips through the first quarter of 2018.
The upcoming devices — which will likely debut as the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and a special 10th anniversary edition — are expected to debut this September, though recent reports have suggested the launch may see delays.