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TSMC will reportedly favor Apple and carmakers as semiconductor shortages continue

Tsmc
Tsmc (Image credit: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.)

What you need to know

  • TSMC will prioritize Apple and car makers when deciding who to build chips for, according to a report.
  • A global semiconductor shortage is impacting chipmakers like TSMC.

Apple and carmakers are set to be at the front of the queue for chips made by TSMC, according to a new report. This as a global semiconductor shortage continues to hamper the production of chips.

According to a new DigiTimes report, TSMC has decided that it will prioritize Apple and carmakers ahead of those who make PCs, servers, and networking devices.

TSMC will give supply priorities to orders for automotive ICs and those placed by Apple in the third quarter of 2021, followed by chip orders for PCs, servers and networking devices, according to sources at fabless chipmakers.

Apple has some high-profile product launches still to come this year with new iPhones and Apple Watches an almost certainty. Apple will want to make sure iPhone 13 supply is enough to meet demand later this fall and TSMC is the company tasked with building the Apple-designed chips that will live inside. The same goes for any further Apple silicon Macs that could be announced later this year, too.

In terms of the M1 chip and those that come after it, Apple is aggressively pushing into as many Macs and even iPads as it can. The current M1 iMac is proving popular and there are even some iMac deals to be had. But the continued Apple silicon rollout requires TSMC to be on top of its game and that isn't easy in the current semiconductor climate.

The news that Apple will be prioritized shouldn't be all that surprising, however. The iPhone maker and TSMC have a long history of collaboration and the latter relies on the former's huge orders too much to leave it in the lurch.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.