Apple chip made in America
Image: Apple

Fresh reports claim that Apple chips will be made in Arizona, America, starting in 2024. Tim Cook reportedly broke the news to employees, as TSMC is already setting up a foundry near Phoenix, Arizona. TSMC, which manufactures chips for Apple, has already started two projects in the U.S. In 2020, TSMC set up a foundry to manufacture 4nm chips.

Another report claims that TSMC’s second plant will manufacture 3nm chips that could be used in future iPhones and other Apple devices. It is unclear whether the Arizona plant will manufacture the processor or some other chips. Aside from the main processor, an iPhone has cellular and WiFi modems, RF modems, and Bluetooth & GPS chips. So the Arizona plant could be manufacturing all of them or some of the components.

Earlier, Bloomberg reported that Apple is designing its own modems to cut down its reliance on Qualcomm. While the 2023 iPhone 15 lineup will still feature Qualcomm modems, TSMC’s Arizona plant could change that in 2024-25.

Biden administration wants Apple to make it in America

Apple and Jony Ive agreement
Image: Apple

Ever since the pandemic, the world’s dependence on China has caused supply chain issues. China’s stringent lockdown policies also fanned the fire. As a result, the U.S. government is giving financial incentives for companies to set up manufacturing in America. The Indian government is also giving similar incentives to companies that develop and manufacture chips in the country.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, or TSMC, has been a long-term Apple partner. It manufactures A-series chips for the iPhone and M-series chips for Apple Macs. While TSMC has design centers across the U.S., the fabrication and manufacturing process is done in Taiwan. The company’s Arizona plant will generate jobs in the U.S. while also setting up a core part of Apple’s supply chain within the country.

The Bloomberg report says that Apple CEO Tim Cook talked to his employees about the matter. Here’s an excerpt from the report:

“We’ve already made a decision to be buying out of a plant in Arizona, and this plant in Arizona starts up in ’24, so we’ve got about two years ahead of us on that one, maybe a little less,”

Cook also mentioned that Apple is planning to source chips for European iPhones from Europe. Just recently, the company started assembling iPhone models in India. In the long term, we can see that Apple is probably trying to decentralize its supply chain.

For instance, having a setup in Taiwan is good, but having another one in the U.S. gives Apple a decent backup. The process could also affect the costs of Apple devices across the world if they’re manufactured and assembled locally. So the big picture could be Apple making more powerful phones, charging a premium for them, and still keeping a check on the price.

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