TSMC US decision may come next year
One of Apple’s most important components providers has yet to commit to playing along with President Donald Trump’s agenda of localizing manufacturing jobs in the United States. Assembler Foxconn and its displays subsidiary Sharp is definitely on-board, so that ain’t the issue: it’s TSMC.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation, which makes the A-series application processors for iPhones and iPads, currently has most of its foundries between China and Taiwan. It has reportedly been pressured by Apple to consider extending some manufacturing jobs to the US. While the company’s on the record as “considering” the move, it also said that the cost-benefit analysis may prove narrow at best.
Just today, TSMC spokesperson Michael Kramer affirmed that the option was still on the table, though.
“But we have flexibility in Taiwan. If an earthquake happened for instance (in Taiwan), we could send thousands of people here as support, whereas it’s harder in the States,” Kramer said.
TSMC is said to be pondering a $16.4 billion factory in the US.
Indeed, Apple CEO Tim Cook has raised issues with the US workforce which he claims is not interested in monotonous on-the-feet assembly jobs that require human precision and not enough pay. Trump has proposed regulatory and tax relief as well as automation to alleviate the required effort to set up shop.
It is also collaborating with Foxconn on a bid for Toshiba’s semiconductor unit. The Japanese company provides memory chips for Apple’s mobile products. Also, while the much-hyped iPhone 8 is expected to lead Infinite Loop into a record year, consumers may look past the shine of further iPhones — leading to falling revenue for an Apple contract.