iPhone chipmaker will decide on U.S. plant in 2018

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TSMC is one of Apple's biggest partners.
TSMC is one of Apple's biggest partners.
Photo: Apple/TSMC

Apple’s favorite chipmaker in Asia may be ready to move to the United States next year.

TSMC — the world’s largest contract chipmaker, and sole supplier of the A10 Fusion processor that powers the iPhone 7 — says it is weighing the benefits of setting up shop in the U.S. under President Donald Trump.

A spokesperson for TSMC told Reuters that a decision on whether it will build a factory in the United States won’t be made until 2018.

“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,” the spokesperson said.

TSMC is considering investing about $16 billion in the possible U.S. plant. The move comes as the company is looking into acquiring Toshiba’s chip business. About 65 percent of all TSMC’s revenue is generated in the U.S.

Some of Apple’s other suppliers are also considering building factories in the United States. Sharp is reportedly looking into making iPhone displays in the States. Foxconn has said it is investigating the possibility of a U.S. factory as well.

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