Apple’s trio of iPhones could get delayed this year because of a computer virus. The virus hasn’t actually infected the handsets themselves, but it has affected the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).
TSMC manufactures chipsets for the iPhone, along with a number of other devices. Bloomberg reports that the virus outbreak occurred on August 3 due to a misoperation during the software installation process for a new tool. It spread after the tool got connected to TSMC’s network.
2018 iPhones Delayed?
It seems this was the first time a virus attack has affected TSMC’s production lines. It comes at a bad time for Apple since the supplier is in the middle of producing A12 chips for the 2018 iPhones. TSMC hasn’t actually mentioned which brands have gotten impacted by the attack, but Apple is a very strong candidate as it’s TSMC’s biggest customer.
TSMC says it’ll achieve full recovery by August 6, but the shut down is proving costly for the manufacturer. It’s warning of delayed shipments and reduced revenue. It’s hard to say right now how adversely this will affect the iPhone lineup.
Apple usually has some kind of plan for such last-minute delays, so it’s entirely possible nothing will change and this will all be a distant dream by the time September arrives. The worst-case scenario is that there will be fewer iPhones around in the beginning so there’ll be fewer sales.
One analyst believes that all of TSMC’s 12-inch wafer fabrication plants got infected, bad news for Apple since its chipsets are made at those plants. The 2018 iPhones are said to be using a brand-new 7nm process for even faster speeds this year, but no one knows if the 7nm chips were affected.
All this comes on top of rumors that the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone AKA the iPhone 9 is going to be postponed to October or November because of production problems related to its display. We’ll find out the truth of the matter once September comes along.