Taiwan Earthquake May Delay iPhone 16 Pro Shipments, but TSMC Assures No Impact

Apple to source chips from TSMC plant in US

A major earthquake of 7.4 magnitude hit Taiwan around 8 am local time, and it’s said to be the deadliest earthquake in around 25 years, affecting over 900 people, at the time of writing. As expected, it has also affected businesses, including chip manufacturing giant TSMC (Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation).

According to a report from Bloomberg, the recent earthquake in Taiwan has affected TSMC, which also happens to be a major supplier of Apple, and a local rival Microelectronics Corp, with machinery suspended and evacuation measures in place in certain areas. TSMC, in particular, is responsible for mass-manufacturing the 3nm A17 Pro chip, which will presumably power the upcoming iPhone 16 Pro series.

However, the recent earthquake has deeply affected operations, and the same report mentions that TSMC’s Tainan Factory suffered structural damage which means that 3nm A17 Pro chip production could also have been affected. In addition, the EUV machines that help in the production of chips below 7nm have also stopped, meanwhile, the Hsinchu broken pipelines and extensive wafer damage, forcing a production stoppage.

It breaks down to potential shipment delays because most of Apple’s custom chips come from TSMC. However, TSMC is reported to be working on ramping up the production, but this doesn’t avoid the likeliness of Apple delaying the upcoming iPhone shipments.

“TSMC’s safety systems are functioning normally. As per company protocol, certain fabs were evacuated to ensure personnel safety,” the company noted in a press release. “We are currently in the process of assessing the extent of the impact.”

In addition, some of the production lines are starting again today, but we don’t know exactly how this will affect Apple’s products. While there’s another theory that suggests that Apple is usually good at managing the supply chain, and generally keeps itself prepared for such natural disasters, and wouldn’t let this affect its launch schedule.

That said, the earthquake in Taiwan might result in a global microchip shortage that could further result in electronic items such as phones, PCs, and others being more expensive in the coming times.


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