Virus Strikes Apple Chip Supplier TSMC, Possibly Delaying Next iPhones


A key supplier to Apple's iPhones, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., has reported a virus outbreak that will delay shipments of at least some of its chips.

The incident has raised questions about whether Apple's fall iPhone launches could face delays as a result.

[Related: Apple Reportedly Switching Focus Back To LCD iPhones Amid iPhone X 'Softness']

Taiwan-based TSMC manufactures the CPU used in iPhones, which in the case of the iPhone X and iPhone 8 is the A11 processor.

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TSMC is also producing the CPU for the next iPhones, which are expected to be unveiled in September.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a statement, TSMC said that the outbreak occurred on Aug. 3, and "affected a number of computer systems and fab tools in Taiwan."

As of 2 a.m. Eastern time on Monday, about 80 percent of the affected tools have been recovered, according to the company. TSMC expects a "full recovery" on Monday, the company said.

"TSMC expects this incident to cause shipment delays and additional costs," the statement said.

The company is "confident shipments delayed in third quarter will be recovered in the fourth quarter 2018," TSMC said.

Analysts cited by CNBC suggested the impact to Apple will be minimal.

Rumors suggest that Apple will launch three new iPhones in the fall—two high-end models featuring OLED displays and one less-expensive model with an LCD display.

The new OLED iPhone models this fall are expected to come in 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch sizes, while the LCD model is expected to have a 6.1-inch display size.

TSMC blamed the incident on "misoperation during the software installation process for a new tool, which caused a virus to spread once the tool was connected to the company's computer network."

"TSMC has taken actions to close this security gap and further strengthen security measures," the company said.