There may be a delay in the production and launch of iPhone, MacBook, earthquake spoiled the game

The 7.4 magnitude earthquake that struck Taiwan on Wednesday morning has destroyed almost everything in the country. It is being said that this was the strongest earthquake to hit Taiwan in the last 25 years. 9 people died and more than 1000 people were injured due to the earthquake. This earthquake has also shaken Apple because now the launch and production of iPhone and MacBook may be delayed. That’s because the island plays a big role in the global chip supply chain as it is home to the world’s largest chip maker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), which supplies chips to Apple and Nvidia.

Earthquake caused damage to infrastructure

According to a report by MacRumors, the earthquake also caused extensive damage to infrastructure, including TSMC manufacturing sites. TSMC produces all Apple custom chips, including the A-series processors found in devices like the iPhone, iPad, and AppleTV, as well as the M1 processor. This means that iPhone and MacBook production could potentially be delayed. This may also possibly affect Apple’s upcoming launch.

TSMC’s beams and columns broke

TSMC’s N3 fabrication plant in Tainan suffered structural damage as several of its beams and columns broke, resulting in a complete shutdown of production, MacRumors reports. This has affected the EUV (Extreme Ultraviolet) machines required for manufacturing processes below 7nm, which have now stopped working. Additionally, the Research and Development Lab also sustained damage, such as cracks in the walls. Similarly, another fabrication plant in Hsinchu has reported broken pipelines and significant damage to wafers, leading to a temporary halt in production.

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Reportedly, chips made by TSMC, such as the 3nm A17 Pro, which is used in the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, require constant work and stable vacuum settings for weeks. And damage to manufacturing sites and halted production means that some of these advanced chips being made may have been damaged, even if they were not directly damaged during the earthquake.

TSMC preparing to start work as soon as possible

According to the report, TSMC is already addressing the losses and issues, and is aiming to restart at least a portion of production as soon as today. However, there is still some uncertainty as to what kind of impact the current halt in production will have on Apple’s supply chain.

Apple is currently ramping up production for the Vision Pro as it plans to expand the headset’s availability to more global markets. Apple is also reportedly working on a new iPad Air, Mac Studio and Mac Pro, and of course the iPhone 16 lineup, Apple Watch Series 10 and Apple Watch Ultra 3.

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Brijesh Pratap
Brijesh Pratap

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