TSMC Computer Virus Hit May Delay Apple Shipments, but Impact Limited

August 7, 2018 Updated: August 8, 2018

A computer virus outbreak at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) could delay chip shipments for Apple Inc.’s new iPhones, but the impact will be limited as TSMC has prepared itself for such disruptions, analysts said.

TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, said over the weekend a number of its computer systems and fab tools had been infected by a virus and that it expected a full recovery on August 6, 2018. It expected the incident to cause shipment delays and forecast a hit to its third-quarter financial results.

Mark Li, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, said in a report on August 5, 2018, technology giant Apple was one of the impacted customers, but a swift recovery in the fourth quarter should keep the impact minimal.

“Long term, TSMC’s trustworthy image is somewhat tainted but it is hard to quantify the effect now,” Li said.

KGI Securities said in a report on August 6, 2018, that while some of TSMC’s 12-inch wafer shipments will be delayed, the impact to the upcoming iPhone launch is limited because “the upstream supply chain usually prepares for these incidents and manufactures surplus chipsets during the initial ramp-up stage.”

Apple did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. TSMC said it did not have any additional information for now.

Reporting By Yimou Lee.