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Can't wait for next year's iPad? Low yields may make you wait a bit longer

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If you’re in the market for an iPad, you may want to act quickly. According to a new report from DigiTimes, Apple’s chipmaking partner TSMC has reached “lower-than-expected yield rates” as a result of production issues.

While a number of companies, including Apple, HiSilicon, and MediaTek, have ordered 10nm chips from TSMC, yield rates for the process technology are apparently “not what the foundry expected,” according to DigiTime’s sources. This timing is a bit problematic, as TSMC is currently slated to make Apple’s A10X chips for the next-generation iPad, currently set for a March 2017 launch. But now that volume production may not match projections, we may be facing an iPad shortage. Or at the very least, a production disruption when it comes to next year’s iPad. Looks like it may not only be the holidays during which Apple has trouble stocking its shelves.

Of course, the chip maker could resolve its process problems in time for next year’s production schedule, but only time will tell.

Separately, DigiTimes also reports that yield rates for Samsung’s 10nm process technology have also been low, which has made Qualcomm (a longtime Samsung partner) “cautious about its product road map for 2017). While Qualcomm initially planned to have its new Snapdragon 835 processor built by way of Samsung’s 10nm process, it is now rethinking this strategy.

In short, it looks as though problems along the production chain may affect your ability to purchase some of next year’s hottest tech, at least at the previously agreed upon time frame. But don’t fret yet — a lot could change within the next few months that might catapult everything back onto schedule.

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