Report: Real iPhone winners are Taiwan subcons

January 16, 2007 – Samsung may have won the prime processing sockets in Apple’s just-announced iPhone, but the real winners will be the production houses in Taiwan contracted by all the other chip providers, according to the Taiwan Economic News.

Of the roster of companies rumored to be incorporated in the iPhone — Samsung (combined video + applications processors), Infineon (baseband), Broadcom (touch-screen controller), Marvell (802.11 content), and Cambridge Silicon Radio (Bluetooth chip) — all but Samsung wil farm out production to pure manufacturers. TSMC is reportedly being contracted by the other four to build chips using 0.13-micron and 90nm process technologies, the paper noted. Infineon and CSR are likely contracting Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) Inc. to package and test their chips, while Marvell and Broadcom reportedly will go with Siliconware Precision Industries Co., Ltd., the paper noted.

iPhone production volumes are projected to be 6 million units in 2007 with an unnamed contract manufacturer, with potential extra capacity for up to 9 million units if necessary, according to FBR Research analysts Chris Caso and Elizabeth Pate.

At those levels, the semiconductor content for Broadcom and Marvell should extrapolate to about $12-$25 million in 2007 revenues for Broadcom, and $15-$30 million for Marvell, though the research firm suggested those extra sales are “increment


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