Key components supplier to both every major Android SoC manufacturer and Android's biggest rival, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), now expects its mobile revenues to fall mostly flat over the course of 2018. That's according to statements made as part of the company's Q4 2017 report. As per its officials, those expectations come in spite of the fact that TSMC will remain the sole supplier of iPhone core processors for the rest of the year and that the company is a key components supplier for nearly every Android chip manufacturer, as well. That's not great news for the Taiwanese company, whose revenues from that sector of the market made up nearly half of its total revenue, around $33 billion, throughout 2017.
However, it isn't all bad news for the company, either. Co-chief executive C.C. Wei says that the estimates are in response to a decline in top-tier smartphone shipments globally but that mid-range and budget-friendly device shipments will actually increase. That should offset and balance out declines, which is why a relatively flat year is expected in terms of mobile-generated revenue – as opposed to declines in that revenue. Moreover, founding Chairman of TSMC, Morris Chang, says that increases in overall revenues should be expected. In fact, the company aims to increase revenue by 10 to 15 percent, as compared to the 9.1 percent increase in sales it saw in 2017.
That optimism centers around two separate elements the Taiwanese manufacturer is looking to pursue over the next 365 days. Specifically, TSMC plans to continue its cryptocurrency mining and production work, as well as increasing its use of A.I. at data centers and in electronics. The latter of those two elements should result in better streamlining of data and better cost-efficiency in the company's operations – as well as in its components. Cryptocurrency is a major factor because of efforts the company has made in terms of becoming a major supplier of components that are in high demand thanks to companies such as Bitmain, which specialize in bitcoin mining chips and solutions. Beyond that, the technological solutions provided by the unique circumstances surrounding cryptocurrencies, such as verification tools enabled by the Blockchain, could begin to see more widespread use outside of cryptocurrency mining over the course of the year. By centering itself as a supplier to empower those solutions, TSMC is expected to be well-placed to turn a profit over 2018.