On March 17, it is reported that the global wafer leader TSMC has recently begun to coordinate the allocation of production capacity in the second quarter of 2021, mainly for 5G, high-speed computing (HPC), and automotive electronics-related chip orders. MediaTek and foreign automotive chip manufacturers will be able to successfully secure more foundry capacity.
Unfortunately for other chip suppliers whose production volume will be delayed, other than waiting in line in the short term, they can only find other ways, hoping to find more capacity support in wafer foundries other than TSMC, otherwise the company’s revenue in 2021 and profit growth targets may have to be discounted a bit.
Earlier, it was reported that car production was stopped due to chip shortages. For this reason, the United States, Germany, and Japan had to turn to TSMC, which masters the chip foundry market, for help, hoping to win more automotive chips for their own car companies. And chipmakers such as TSMC have agreed to give priority to supplying automotive chips. Now it seems that TSMC has indeed acted to ease the tension of automotive chips.
In addition, judging from the production capacity allocation announced by TSMC in the second quarter, most of the 5G production capacity is expected to be OEM for Apple. You must know that Apple will launch the next-generation iPhone series in the third quarter of this year, and Apple itself is TSMC. largest customer. Therefore, TSMC is expected to basically do OEM for Apple in terms of 5G production capacity.
However, it was also reported in the market that at the end of last year, Apple required component companies to ensure 96 million iPhone-sized components in the first half of this year. The 96 million units include not only the iPhone 12 series, but also the iPhone 11 and iPhone SE models. Especially in the fourth quarter of last year, Apple’s sales and profits in the global market were not cheap, which gave it more confidence. However, recently, we have seen media reports that Apple plans to reduce this number to about 75 million units. The Nikkei reported that this was slightly higher than iPhone shipments in the same period last year. But it was 20 million fewer than the expected 96 million.
It shows that in the first half of this year, for Apple, in fact, it is not possible to ride away. Even if there are few rivals to compete with Apple in the market now, perhaps because the market’s own prosperity index is not high, it will affect Apple’s shipments. After all, the global epidemic has not been completely reversed before the vaccine has been completely released. For the consumer market, it will naturally have an impact.
At the same time, there are also rumors in the market that due to sluggish demand for the iPhone 12 mini, Apple has asked some suppliers to temporarily stop the production of 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini accessories. Some accessories for the iPhone 12 mini have been redistributed to the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. But the market demand itself is limited. Even if the iPhone 12 series products sell well, there will be a demand degree. What’s more, there will be a new generation of “Thirteen Fragrance” iPhone 13 series in September, and users’ desire to buy in the first half of this year will also be greatly reduced.
In this way, part of TSMC’s production capacity can be released, and it happens that the automotive industry is in a state of chip shortage, and TSMC can just “follow the flow” to meet the chip demand in the automotive market. What’s more, some production capacity is still released in the form of bidding, and the return rate that can be obtained is higher. Why should TSMC not do it?
Of course, from another perspective, after TSMC meets Apple’s demand for 5G, it is estimated that other mobile phone manufacturers have little opportunity for foundry. Of course, MediaTek may gain some share, and MediaTek has indeed gained some in the market. Chance. Especially after Huawei’s foundry was banned, the market’s demand for chips could only be obtained from Qualcomm, MediaTek and other manufacturers, which gave these chip designers a good opportunity for development. However, after Huawei subsided, why was the demand not fully met? It shows that the demand of the market itself has stagnant.
It must be said that the demand index of the entire mobile phone market is not as good as before. Maybe people are also watching the development of 5G and finding when it is more suitable to change to 5G mobile phones. When the desire is not strong, the iteration of the mobile phone itself will slow down. Rhythm, the market demand will also decline, so the release of production capacity may stagnate. However, fortunately, the automotive field, as well as more smart homes, smart applications, and the Internet of Everything, still need more chips to support, and it has also kept the entire chip manufacturing company in a state of near saturation, which in turn makes the market The supply and demand for chips have been out of balance, creating a picture of a chip shortage.