Apple (AAPL) is widely expected to release three iPhone models this year, including an update to the iPhone X, a plus-size variant, and a lower-cost LCD device. But a delay in the release of the next-generation iPhones is on the cards as one of Apple’s major suppliers experienced a computer virus outbreak that could delay shipment.
This year, Apple will likely bring out three models of iPhone that will have 7-nanometer A12 chipset along with 2.6 or 2.8 GHz octa-core CPU processor and Apple Custom GPU. The updates to iPhone X and a 6.5-inch variant, dubbed iPhone X Plus, are expected to have OLED screens, while a low-priced device with 6.1-inch LCD display is also on the cards.
A computer virus hit Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSM) over the weekend that has impacted its production lines. The company issued a warning that the outbreak could cause the delay in shipments and lower its revenue for the third quarter by 3%, according to CNBC. The outbreak hit the network first and then expanded to the machines that were used to make chips and processors.
Misoperation during the software installation process has been cited as the reason behind the infection, which wasn’t from a hack or cyber attack. Taiwan Semiconductor confirmed that no confidential information was jeopardized, and store production and customer data containing systems remained immune.
Taiwan Semiconductor later confirmed that most of the systems had been recovered and that it has notified most of its customers about the impact.
The company hasn’t specified whether there is a delay in supplying chips to Apple. But rumors are rife that the next-gen iPhones could get delayed due to this virus outbreak.
Taiwan Semiconductor, which had made Apple’s A11 chipset, is currently in the process of producing the next-gen A12 chipset that could be set in the tech giant’s upcoming smartphones. Experts believe that if there is a delay in supply of A12 chipset, Apple could release only one low-cost variant this year with the current A11 chip inbuilt.
Meanwhile, Fubon Research believes there will be no meaningful impact on the next iPhone as Taiwan Semiconductor stated the delay will be recovered in the next quarter. Fubon expects iPhone production to be 83 million units in the second half of 2018, according to CNBC.
Apple’s biggest event is approaching promptly. Despite the company not revealing the date, it could be known from the previous event dates that the keynote could be scheduled in the second week of September. Enthusiasts and experts would be watching the event and looking for details about Apple reaching the milestone of $1 trillion in market cap.