There have been wild rumors over the last few months with claims that Apple has put in iPhone orders in the range of 70-120 million units. Yet today's new revelation would almost confirm that Apple has record breaking orders in for chips with TSMC. According to a new report published today in Asia, "The impact of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's production of Apple CPUs and related peripheral chips on the supply chain of Taiwan's semiconductor industry will widen in 2015, forcing IC design houses to place wafer orders earlier in the year."
The report further noted that TSMC normally performs its annual maintenance during the Lunar New Year holidays in the first quarter, before orders begin to pick up steam in the second quarter of each year. Wafer orders typically peak in the third quarter before sliding down in the fourth quarter.
However, this production pattern will no longer prevail in 2014. According to the report "TSMC has advised its other customers to place more orders in the first half of the year, in order to avoid competition for wafer production capacity for Apple related products, the sources noted." It would appear that Apple is getting priority scheduling due their volume.
To prevent tight production from recurring in 2015, TSMC is expected to persuade suppliers of non-Apple devices to place wafer orders in the first half of 2015, preferably in the first quarter.
It's a nice problem that TSMC is having. It's one that Samsung wishes it had. Apple's switch to TSMC could ding Samsung's bottom line by over a billion dollars.