TSMC certain to get Apple’s chip business

Apple’s keenness to get iPad Air and an expected iPhone refresh has forced it to bury any disagreements it might have with TSMC

Apple appears to have resolved its disputes with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and given the job of producing its A8 processor to the company as it tries desperately to get its iPad Air and an expected iPhone refresh out by the end of the year.

Taiwan-based TechNews  reported that TSMC has already started production of Apple’s next-generation A8 processor which was news to most of the tech industry which thought the two were still banging heads together.

So far, Samsung has been the sole manufacturer of Apple’s processors and for obvious reasons, that relationship is strained. Apple had been doing its best to find new sources to make its chips using someone who was not its main rival.

TSMC had been rumoured to make Apple chips in the past but struggled with production problems. There were also rumours of disagreements with Apple.

However, the pressure is on Apple to start producing some products this year, particularly as its luck is appearing to run out with falling profits, and an inability to break into the Chinese market.

On Sunday, Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities cast doubt on Apple’s ability to refresh the iPad Mini Retina this year. He also claimed that the rumoured “iPad Pro” may be pushed into 2015.

If Apple cannot get any products out this year, it will look incredibly bad and profits will fall further. TechNews claims that TSMC is the sole manufacturer of the A8 because of the success it is having with the latest 20-nanometer manufacturing process, although a lack of choice might have also had something to do with it.

With the A8 being made, Apple should be able to get an updated iPad Air and an expected iPhone refresh finished by the end of the year. That is unless TSMC runs into production problems.