The Taiwanese TSMC company remains the largest contract producer of semiconductor products, providing its clients with access to advanced lithography, so it is usually able to dictate prices. According to rumours, Apple has managed to counter those arguments to its own relevance to the TSMC business and, as a result, to avoid higher prices for the second company.
This, as the Economic Daily News explains, refers to the production services of the following year, which are likely to rise not only against the background of general inflation but also as a result of the increase in the cost of the TSMC itself of taking up the new stage of lithography. The following year, the source explains, TSMC is going to raise prices for a wide range of its own services, and if the range of increases initially ranged between 6 and 9 per cent, then clients later managed to lower the lower threshold to 3 per cent, but in a number of mature processes the increase would still be 6 per cent.
Apple is reported to have avoided any price increases because it accounts for up to 25% of all TSMC revenues, so it is possible to negotiate special terms. Apple is also believed to be the first client of TSMC to receive 3-Nm products, and it is certain that negotiations have affected this stage of lithography. The top smartphones of the iPhone 14 family use 4-nm A16 processor, so that 3-nm technology could produce their successor A17, which would have been prescribed in the senior iPhone 15 models.
A 3-nm processor, M2 Pro, could have claimed Mac's computer presence, even before Apple's new generation smartphones were released. In the US and China market, Apple was able to keep the prices of the iPhone family at the same level, so controlling A17's production costs is also an important part of its strategy.