Apple "usually prepares for these incidents and manufactures surplus chipsets during the initial ramp-up stage". It maintained its 2018 forecast of boosting revenue by high single digits in USA dollar terms. The iPhone maker last week surpassed a market value of $1 trillion, largely on the strength of sales for its pioneering smartphone.
The US company has employed in the past foundries owned by Samsung Electronics, its rival in global mobile devices. With new iPhones expected in the autumn and TSMC likely working on a new chip, likely the 7nm A12, shutting down factories temporarily could mean delays for the next wave of iPhones. More detailed information on the situation will be shared on Monday. Apple is, without a doubt, TSMC's most prized contract, as TSMC fought off Samsung to win exclusivity for iPhone chips. Huawei Technologies Co., MediaTek Inc., Nvidia Corp., and Texas Instruments Inc. also rely on TSMC to produce chip designs. That helped the market look past a reduced revenue outlook.
While purely speculation until such time as TSMC comments, speculation points to the company getting hit, intentionally or unintentionally, by a ransomware attack.
The semiconductor company blames the outbreak on a mistake during installation of software for a new tool, which was then connected to its computer network.
TSMC's chief financial officer Lora Ho told Bloomberg that the chipmaker has been attacked by viruses in the past, but never has malware affected the company's production lines.
Or it could be some form of corporate sabotage by another chip manufacturer or an enemy of Apple, with someone sneaking into TSMC's factory systems and slipping in the virus; think James Bond but duller and less casually misogynistic.