updated 02:45 pm EST, Mon December 14, 2009
Chipmakers benefiting from iPhone spike
A rush of orders with chipmakers may lead Apple to ship more than 10 million iPhones per quarter for the first time, a study from Taiwan's Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute. The analyst group notes that the deliveries of chips needed for smartphones shot up 30.9 percent from spring to summer and expects much of that to translate into iPhone shipments as Apple will have queued up its shipments for the fall. Apple shipped about 7.4 million iPhones this summer but saw sustained demand that triggered international shortages.
Not all of the parts are attributed to Apple. While Infineon's baseband chips and Samsung's ARM processors have been helped by iPhones, Qualcomm has been given aid through several new Android phones as well as devices like the Palm Pixi and a wave of Snapdragon-based devices like the Acer Liquid, HTC HD2 and LG IQ. Texas Instruments' OMAP processors are starting to find homes in devices like the Palm Pre and should gain more adoption now that later designs like the 3430 and 3630 use the faster ARM Cortex-A8 architecture.
A 10 million-iPhone forecast is relatively optimistic, as major North American analysts have typically estimated between 8 million and 9 million of the touchscreen phones having shipped between October and December. Whether or not it will provide Apple an edge is also in question as RIM shipped 8.3 million BlackBerries in the summer and, like Apple, often sees a spike in holiday sales.