updated 09:18 am EDT, Thu July 17, 2014
Reasons for possible reversal unclear
TSMC will probably lose chip production orders from Apple and Qualcomm to Samsung in the second half of 2015, says KGI Securities analyst Michael Liu, quoted by Reuters. Liu made the comments in a memo issued after a TSMC investor conference. The Commercial Times and the Economic Daily News both suggest that Qualcomm has in fact already started working with Samsung, a claim which has hurt TSMC shares in trading.
Apple turning back to Samsung would be an unexpected shift. Although Samsung has long been the sole producer of A-series processors for iPhones, iPods, and iPads, relations between the two companies have been strained by lawsuits, and TSMC is believed to have just started shipping A8 chips to Apple. It could be that Apple isn't happy with TSMC's yields or prices.
Early this month, a rumor hinted that Samsung has already secured orders for a trial run of A9 processors built with a 14nm manufacturing process. This fall's new iPhones and iPads are expected to use the still-unannounced A8.