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Apple looking to source chips from the US and Europe

Apple is looking to source future chips from the US and Europe as it seeks to lessen its reliance on the traditional Asia-based supply chain.

That’s the claim being made by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who references comments made by Apple CEO Tim Cook at an internal meeting held in Germany.

“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 is quoted as saying.

“I’m sure that we will also source from Europe as those plans become more apparent,” he added.

Apple’s exclusive chip manufacturing partner is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, and clue as to where that company operates from is in the name. Cook mentioned in the meeting that around 60% of the world’s semiconductor production came from the tiny island of Taiwan.

“Regardless of what you may feel and think, 60% coming out of anywhere is probably not a strategic position,” he said.

It’s known that TSMC is setting up a production plant in Arizona, US for 2024, which is likely the plant that Cook is referencing here. As a second source of chips in the US, Apple could rely on a second plant that TSMC is said to be setting up on US soil.

However, as the report highlights, TSMC has stated that its first US plant will be capable of producing chips using a 5-nanometer production process, which falls short of Apple’s 3nm chip ambitions.

TSMC is also rumoured to be in discussions to set up a chip plant in Germany, which would seem to tie in with Cook’s mention of Apple’s European production plans.

Apple has been seeking to diversify its supply chain of late, with some of its production shifting over to India.

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