Technology is a blessing and a curse, and at the moment, it is more of the latter for Apple. On Aug. 3, one of Apple's suppliers suffered a computer virus outbreak, which CNBC reports may lead to shipment delays on behalf of the supplier. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) manufactures the chip processors used in Apple iPhones.
According to CNBC, the possible shipment delays will impact TSMC's third quarter revenue by 3%, or $255 million, after the virus struck "a number of computer systems" and fab tools used to make the chips. The supplier was expected to resolve all issues by Monday, Aug. 6, and TSMC states the outbreak occurred because of incorrectly installed software. However, no confidential information was released.
Three days after the outbreak, analysts are waiting to see how the supplier's setback will affect Apple and the company's rumored release of three new iPhones in late 2018. In a note published Aug. 6, Fubon Research forecasted that while the outbreak could delay the manufacturing of between 1.5 million to 1.7 million A12 chips, there wouldn't be "a huge impact on iPhone production."
"Since TSMC indicated the delayed shipment from this incident will be recovered in the following quarter, we think there will be no meaningful impact on Apple's new coming iPhone," Fubon states. "In our view, 'misoperation' is simply not good enough an explanation. … We think TSMC needs to provide more details of what happened to alleviate the security concerns of customers and long-term investors."
If there are any impacts to Apple, the consumer electronics company is typically prepared for such delays by ordering surplus supplies, KGI analysts added in the CNBC report.
—Andrew Michaels, editorial associate