Apple’s new iPhone launch next month could be delayed by the virus outbreak at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) — the world’s biggest contract chip maker, the media reported on Friday. TSMC, which makes chips for iPhones, suffered a computer virus outbreak and warned it could cause shipment delays as well as hit revenue.
“This incident has come at a sensitive period for Apple, which is preparing for its much-anticipated annual launch of new iPhone models next month after recording a market value of US $1 trillion last week,” the South China Morning Post reported on Friday.
A variant of “WannaCry” ransomware hobbled computer systems at TSMC after a supplier installed software without a virus scan to the company’s computer network. The virus caused machines to crash and continually reboot. TSMC makes plenty of chips designed for iPhones, so Apple would be the most likely client to suffer shipment delays.
“New York-listed TSMC has said the virus outbreak will delay its chip shipments through the end of September, but expected to make a recovery by year’s end. It had to shut down virus-infected fabrication tools and automated handling systems during the outbreak at its manufacturing facilities, but restored 80 per cent of those by Sunday,” the report added.
The Taiwan semiconductor firm produces Apple’s A11 chip that is in the iPhone X. The firm is currently making the next-generation A12 chip that is expected to be in its upcoming smartphones. The Cupertino-headquartered company is expected to launch three new iPhone models this year.