Earlier this year, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company reported tepid revenue comparisons thanks to a barely okay season for iPhone sales. The big deal here? TSMC supplies the A-series mobile processors for iPhones and iPads as well chips for many other processor designers. It’s the largest manufacturer of its type in the world.
While Apple happens to be the company’s biggest customer, it also wants to see if it could diversify and kick its heavy dependence on not just Apple, but on a stale premium smartphone market. One of the ways it would do so, TSMC said, was selling chips dedicated to cryptocurrency mining.
Well, that bet hasn’t turned out as well as it wanted. Bloomberg reports that the company has cut down its 2018 revenue forecast from a 10 percent gain to within the high single-digits. Crypto-chip sales dragged from a lack of enthusiasm as prices of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other currencies continue to slide. China has also restricted cryptocurrency trading and other general blockchain uses.
TSMC is looking forward to a good fourth-quarter surge from iPhone sales, as with every year, but relatively speaking, it’s only a small bump up in the declining trend.
“Recently, the development in smartphone units actually recovered, so it’s better than we forecast three months ago,” said TSMC CEO C.C. Wei, “but it’s not a big variation from what we forecast.”
Full-year iPhone sales from the 2017 holiday season onwards are expected to come in below expectations as the iPhone X has not sold as well as initially forecast. This year’s models are expected to bring the low-bezel design of the iPhone X at price points from around $700 and above.