Key iPhone suppliers Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. both posted a 5.6 percent rise in November sales, despite the overall pessimism around the demand for the U.S. company’s most important product.
TSMC’s and Hon Hai’s performance comes in the middle of the year’s busiest quarter and may help balance the narrative that Apple’s latest line-up -- particularly the cheapest iPhone XR -- is falling flat with global consumers. Hon Hai’s November revenue of NT$601.4 billion ($19.5 billion) was a record for the month and takes January-November sales growth to almost 16 percent.
On Monday, TSMC reported that it posted NT$98.39 billion (US$3.18 billion) in consolidated sales for November, down 3.1 percent from a month earlier, with market analysts attributing the decline to the slow-season effect. Despite the fall, the November sales were still the third-highest monthly level in TSMC's history, behind NT$103.70 billion reported for March and NT$101.55 billion in October.
TSMC is the sole processor chipmaker for Apple’s most expensive gadgets.
Other Apple suppliers have cut or underperformed on their outlooks in recent months, stoking concerns about the iPhone’s future as consumers take longer to upgrade their devices.
Apple reports its holiday earnings in January and investors will be watching closely at the bottom line revenues and next-quarter guidance for signs of iPhone weakness. The company will no longer be reporting real unit numbers, only revenue and gross margin for each of its major product categories.