Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company won’t make a decision about moving some of its chip manufacturing into the United States until sometime in 2018, according to company spokesperson Michael Kramer (via Reuters).
Although recent reports have focused on Foxconn’s potential move stateside for Apple-specific iPhone manufacturing, TSMC chairman Morris Chang in January mentioned that the supplier was not ruling out the U.S. as a location for one of its foundries.
Now TSMC is putting off an official decision until next year, with Kramer stating that the company would lose a lot of its “flexibility” if it moved production into the United States. Sources in Taiwan point towards a decision coming specifically in the “first half of 2018,” with upwards of $16 billion potentially being invested in getting the American plant up and running.
“We won’t make a decision until next year,” TSMC spokesperson Michael Kramer said. The company currently gets about 65 percent of its total revenue from the United States.
“We would sacrifice some benefits if we move to the States. 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,” he told Reuters.
No Apple supplier has made an official decision about building a plant in the U.S as of yet. Last year, Foxconn looked to be in the preliminary stages of building an assembly plant in the U.S., but this month chairman Terry Gou raised uncertainties about such plans. Both TSMC and Foxconn have teamed up to bid on Toshiba’s memory chip unit, although the latter company has reportedly lost ground in the bidding due to the Japanese government’s fear of Foxconn’s ties to China.
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