There’s no doubt that the iPhone is a source of inspiration for competitors. Some copy the design, others replicate the features, and some do both. While the days are long gone when a company would simply swipe everything that made an iPhone an iPhone for a new Android device, the iPhone still casts a long shadow over the industry. But a new report reveals that some of Apple’s rivals are waiting to see what revolutionary features the iPhone 8 will have to offer, before committing to new supply contracts.
The report comes from Digitimes, whose sources say that chip suppliers from Apple’s supply chain have seen orders start to pick up in June. That’s a sign that Apple is getting ready to mass produce the 2017 iPhone models.
But chip demand from Apple competitors has unexpectedly slowed down at the same time. “Chip orders from the non-Apple camp should have picked up starting April and grown through August, but orders seem to have been pushed back in 2017 as companies adopt a wait-and-see approach before the launch of Apple’s upcoming iPhones which they believe will come with revolutionary features, the sources indicated,” Digitimes says.
Orders should pick up in the fourth quarter, the report notes.
Two companies seem to be affected more than others, including MediaTek and HiSilicon, which will see “disappointing handset-chip shipments” from Apple rivals in the third quarter.
The report doesn’t mention the smartphone makers who are waiting for the iPhone 8 to arrive, but it can’t be Samsung or other major Android handset makers who rely on Qualcomm chips for their Android devices — conversely, Samsung manufactures Qualcomm’s top processor of 2017, the Snapdragon 835.
TSMC, which is the exclusive manufacturer the 10nm A11 chip for Apple, is seeing more interest in 12nm chips from Apple rivals, than its 10nm process chips. 10nm chips are already found in a variety of Android-based flagship devices, including the Galaxy S8 and OnePlus 5, to name just a few.