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TSMC expected to net big revenue boost on Apple 'A10' chips for 'iPhone 7'

Apple processor maker TSMC is reportedly forecast to grow revenues almost 20 percent sequentially in its third quarter, owing primarily to shipments of "A10" processors for Apple's "iPhone 7."

Those shipments should begin shortly, said Taiwan's Central News Agency, quoted by DigiTimes. To a lesser extent, revenues are expected to benefit from chips for Android phones, graphics processors, and virtual reality.

Past rumors have claimed that TSMC will receive most or all of Apple's A10 orders, at least temporarily diminishing Samsung's position in the supply chain. Until a few years ago Samsung was the exclusive producer of A-series processors at a factory in Austin, Texas.

Apple has gradually tried to reduce its dependence on Samsung — which sells competing phones, tablets, and computers — but has only had limited success, given that the company is one of the few manufacturers that can keep up with demand for products like iPhones.

It's in fact rumored that Samsung will be brought back into A-series production, handling a third of orders for next year's "A11" chips. That might tie in with reports that Apple is going deliberately low-key with the iPhone 7, instead working towards major upgrades for next year's model, including possibly an OLED display with integrated camera and Touch ID components. If the device is intended to be a "blockbuster" product, TSMC might not be enough to keep up with demand.