It appears that Samsung is unable to deliver on promises made to Qualcomm regarding the production of 5-nanometer chips, and that Qualcomm has been forced to place an urgent order at the competing foundry, TSMC. Back in February, well before the litho machines brought the engines up to speed, it was leaked that Samsung would be producing the next-generation top-of-the-range SoC, the Snapdragon 875, and the related 5G modem called Snapdragon X60. On the occasion of the announcement of the latest fiscal results, the South Korean giant had confirmed that it had started mass production.
However, already a couple of weeks ago rumors had circulated that the production process was not reaching the desired level of efficiency, and therefore delays were expected on the roadmap. Times are tight, however: the first smartphones with next-gen chips are now just 4-5 months away. And so Qualcomm was forced to ask TSMC for a hand, at least in these initial stages, waiting for Samsung to stabilize the production process. This therefore means that Samsung will always be involved in the mass production of the chip, but in a lower percentage than initially expected.
Also because TSMC already has its work cut out. The bulk of the 5 nm lines, which at the moment should be able to produce around 60,000 chips per month, are committed by Apple, then there are the latest HiSilicon / Huawei orders before the foundry ban goes into action, then there is even AMD. The Taiwanese foundry should be able to expand its production capacity to around 90,000 chips per month within the next couple of months.