TSMC HQSource: TSMC

What you need to know

  • Apple chipmaker TSMC says its production remains normal despite the coronavirus outbreak.
  • TSMC makes Apple's A-series chips for the iPhone and iPad.
  • This is despite many Taiwanese firms lowering sales guidance for Q1 2020.

Apple chipmaker TSMC says its production remains unaffected by the coronavirus outbreak.

As reported by DigiTimes:

Many Taiwan-based IT firms are feeling the heat from the coronavirus outbreak that is delaying their production from returning normal following Lunar New Year. But TSMC and UMC have revealed that their fabs in China have been running as usual. Despite the foundry houses' reassuring revelations, many Taiwanese IC designers have turned cautious about their first-quarter 2020 performances, with some already lowering their sales guidance. For the displays industry, the virus-imposed lockdown of Wuhan may have serious consequences, as the Chinese city is home to several major LCD and OLED panel fabs of China-based makers.

TSMC, UMC say production in China remains normal: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and United Microelectronics (UMC) have both said that production at their fabs in China stays on track and has not been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The report notes that other manufacturers in the region, notably Taiwan IC has become cautious about customer orders, particularly for the Chinese market, with some revising sales guidance down by 5-10% for the first quarter of 2020. With the coronavirus outbreak in its early stages, and showing no signs of letting up, there is a chance that disruption could continue to multiply.

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Apple will, of course, be encouraged to hear that the maker of its chips is powering through. However, DigiTimes notes that the lockdown of Wuhan, where the virus is thought to have originated, could have a global impact on panel shipments as Wuhan is a major production base for several display manufacturers.

The news comes off the back of reports that disruption may spread further afield to Apple's Indian manufacturing base, as the region remains largely dependant on China for parts.