The near future of the smartphone chipset market is looking bleak, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. According to their latest report, Apple is lowering demand for 3nm chips; Qualcomm is also scaling back production, pushing Dutch ASML to cut EUV equipment shipment for 2024 by about 20-30%.
Kuo revealed the current market consensus was the semiconductor business would bottom out in the second half of this year, but the slump might stretch to Q2 2024.
ASML, previously Advanced Semiconductor Materials Lithography, is a company that has HQ in Veldhoven, Netherlands and is a major equipment supplier to chipset foundries worldwide. Its forecast for lower shipments has three major reasons, wrote Kuo:
The first was Apple facing a decreasing demand for MacBook and iPad devices after the sharp decline of WFH (work-from-home). The new Apple chips and mini LED screens are not enough for customers to switch to new devices, and Cupertino posted a 30% decline in laptops shipped (17 million in total for the fiscal year), as well as a 22% decrease in shipped iPads (48 million).
The interest in 3 nm chips from Qualcomm is also lower due to Huawei’s decision to stop sourcing chips from the San Diego company, with or without 5G modems. There’s also the expected higher penetration of Exynos 2400 chips by Samsung, which is hurting Qualcomm’s overall forecast.
Demand for Samsung’s 3GAP+ and Intel’s 20A processes is lower than expected, and on top of everything, Samsung, Micron, and SK Hynix are not expected to launch a major memory advancement until 2025-2027.