Apple is planning to relocate a critical component of iPhone production to the United States. According to reports, Apple will begin sourcing at least some of its Apple Silicon processors from an upcoming TSMC factory being built in Arizona.
These plans were revealed by Tim Cook during a meeting with Apple engineers and retail employees in Germany during his recent trip across Europe. Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that the company will begin purchasing chips from the Arizona plant in 2024. Some manufacturing may also take place in Europe as more factories are built there:
Cook stated this during a meeting with Apple services chief Eddy Cue and Deirdre O’Brien, the company’s head of retail and human resources.
While Cook did not elaborate, he is most likely referring to a factory being built in Arizona by TSMC. TSMC is the sole supplier of Apple Silicon processors, which are used in all of the company’s products.
The TSMC factory in China is currently scheduled to open in 2024. According to TSMC(Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company), the factory will begin with 5nm chip production. Which is at least one generation behind the technology used by Apple in its products. “TSMC could theoretically introduce advanced production faster than it has so far announced,” according to the report.
A lingering question is whether the factory as planned will meet Apple’s requirements. According to the Taiwanese company, the plant will initially have a capacity of 20,000 chips per month. And will use a 5-nanometer production process. That would not satisfy Apple’s desire for more advanced, 3-nanometer chips in the near future. The move comes as Apple continues to diversify its supply chain across the globe.
Furthermore, the US government has recently begun to offer a number of lucrative incentives in order to boost chip production.