28nm shortage may delay iPhone5
Apple will have to postpone the launch of iPhone 5 because Qualcomm can’t supply enough 28nm ICs, according to the Shanghai-based newspaper First Financial Daily.
Apple’s shares fell earlier this week because of slipping sales of the iPhone 4S. Sales were said to be on the slide because consumers were waiting for the iPhone 5.
Since the expected date for iPhone 5 was October, and since Qualcomm said at its Q2 results call earlier this week that it wouldn’t have enough supply of 28nm chips until year-end, it could be the iPhone 5 will be delayed until 2013.
Which would be bad for Apple if it had nothing to turbo-charge the flagging sales of the 4S.
It has been rumoured that Apple is considering building its own fab. The US government would give huge support to see IC manufacturing being repatriated to the USA and Apple could pay for the cost of even a 450mm fab from one quarter’s profits. Q2 profits were $8.9bn.
A conventional 300mm fab would only cost Apple a month’s profit.
Perhaps in response to these possibilities, TSMC CEO Morris Chang said last week that he was prepared to build fabs dedicated to one customer.