July 17, 2014 / 3:15 AM / in 4 years

Taiwan's TSMC likely to lose Apple, Qualcomm orders to Samsung -reports

TAIPEI, July 17 (Reuters) - Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) is likely to lose orders for its next-generation chips from Apple Inc and Qualcomm Inc to rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd , according to an analyst and Taiwanese media.

TSMC will be supplanted by Samsung in the production of 14-nanometre smartphone chips for Apple and Qualcomm beginning in the second half of 2015, KGI Securities analyst Michael Liu said in a note to clients issued late on Wednesday after a TSMC investor conference.

Qualcomm has already started working with Samsung to develop the chips, the Commercial Times reported on Thursday, citing market speculation. The Economic Daily News said without citing sources that Qualcomm had placed orders with Samsung.

The reports sent shares of TSMC down 4.6 percent in Thursday mid-morning trade compared with a 1 percent decline in the benchmark index.

The world’s largest contract chip manufacturer on Wednesday reported its highest quarterly profit since the end of 2006, and said it expected revenue to grow at least a record 20 percent this year.

The primary reason for the bullish outlook was likely to be increased custom from Apple, according to market watchers.

Apple recently hired TSMC to make the majority of chips for the successor to its iPhone 5 instead of choosing Samsung, industry insiders say.

During the investor conference, Chairman Morris Chang said TSMC’s market share in 16 nanometre chips - rather than 14 nanometre chips - will be smaller than “a major competitor” next year, and that TSMC will regain a leading share from 2016. (Reporting by Michael Gold; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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