Report: Apple Suspends Production of M2 Chips as MacBook Sales Plummet

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Apple has halted the production of its ARM-based M2 system on a chip (SoC) following what’s been described as plummeting MacBook sales, the Elec has reported. According to the South Korean publication, this is the first time that Apple has been prompted to stop chip production. Apple announced the M2 in June 2022, while this year saw the introduction of even more powerful SoCs in the form of the M2 Pro and M2 Max. A press release that Apple shared in January claimed that the new MacBook Pro features up to 6x faster performance than the fastest Intel-based MacBook Pro thanks to the updated hardware.

From The Elec (machine translation):

According to the Outsourcing Semiconductor Package Test (OSAT) industry on the 3rd, Taiwan’s TSMC did not send 5-nano process M2 chip wafer processing products to OSAT in January and February. It is believed that this is because Apple requested a halt to production as demand for the MacBook decreased. The M2 chip is finally processed through a general flip chip packaging process, unlike the A-series chips in the fan-out wafer-level package (FO-WLP) package method, which TSMC calls InFO (Integrated Fan Out). When TSMC completes the entire process, it will send the processed wafers to Amkor or Stats Chippack’s Korean factories for packaging. This stock did not exist in January or February. Although wafers have been coming in since March, an official familiar with the matter said that it was only half of the previous year.

The sluggish sales of Apple’s MacBook have already been predicted. “The PC market is facing a very challenging situation,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a conference call for the first quarter of the 2023 fiscal year (October-December 2022) held on February 2nd. I think we have a competitive advantage with silicon (M2 chip, etc.), but it will be very difficult in the short term.” Apple’s Mac PC business revenue in the first quarter was $7.7 billion. This is a 30% decrease compared to the same period last year. Since chip production was suspended in January and February, related business performance is expected to decline in the second quarter as well.

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