What you need to know

  • TSMC has reported a record August.
  • The company is the sole supplier of Apple's A-series chips.
  • It also produces chips for some other big players, too.

TSMC has reported its revenue for August 2019 and its a big one. With revenue of NT$106.12B (US$3.4B) the company had its best ever August according a report by 9to5Mac.

TSMC is the sole supplier of the A-series chips that Apple uses in iPhones, iPads, iPod touches, and even the Apple TV and HomePod. With a big new iPhone announcement taking place today it's easy to think that the cause for TSMC's record month is because Apple ordered a huge number of iPhones. And that might be the case, although the reason might not be what you think.

As we've noted before, Apple's iPhone imports are set to be hit with a 15% tariff come this December. It's possible that Apple is trying to protect its margins by importing huge numbers of iPhones ahead of that date, avoiding the tariffs on those devices. Stockpiling product makes plenty of sense, especially when you're Apple and have the cash to do so.

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It's also important to note that Apple isn't the only company TSMC produces chips for. Digitimes points out that AMD, MediaTek, and HiSilicon are also customers which means the increase in revenue could come from their orders, rather than Apple's.

Apple's role in making or breaking its suppliers' months, quarters, and years is nothing new, however. Foxconn and TSMC do rely on Apple's business which is why keeping it can be so important.

TSMC's work will be there for all to see in the iPhone 11 when it is announced in a few hours. The A13 chip will surely be the fastest A-series chip yet. At least until the next one.