Apple Inc’s decision to stop using Intel Corp processors in its Mac computers and switching to its own chips might benefit Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) and boost Taiwan’s high-tech exports, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) said in a note on Tuesday.
The US tech giant announced the “Apple silicon” initiative at its annual Worldwide Developers’ Conference, which started on Monday.
The company said the first Mac powered by its own chips would debut by the end of this year and all product lines might shift to the new architecture in the next two years.
TSMC is likely to manufacture these new chips based on its 5-nanometer process technology, ANZ said, adding that Apple currently procures from TSMC’s nine fabs in Taiwan and one in the US.
“We believe this decision will boost Taiwan’s investment and high-tech export outlook in the coming months and that Asia would remain critical to Apple’s global supply chain,” ANZ said.
TSMC is already working with Apple on the first 5-nanometer chip for new iPhone models that are expected to be launched later this year and Taiwan is expected to play an integral role in the rollout of new Macs going forward, ANZ said.
Macs account for about 10 percent of Apple’s annual revenue, while iPhones contribute nearly 55 percent, it said.
Apple’s top 200 suppliers accounted for 98 percent of its procurement last year.
The US company’s supply chain extends to more than 28 countries and areas, with the top five — Taiwan, China, Japan, South Korea and the US — accounting for nearly 83 percent of the input, ANZ said.
Nearly half of Apple’s manufacturing sites are in China, but the majority of its key suppliers are Taiwan-based firms, it said.
Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting Co (元大投顧) is positive about the outlook for Mac supply.
“Apple silicon promises to bring a new competitive landscape to the notebook industry, and we view it as a milestone for Apple in terms of exerting further control over notebook applications under its own ecosystem,” Yuanta said in a note on Tuesday.
“If Apple can finally prove its processors can really offer better performance with lower power consumption and are even easier to link with the iPhone and the iPad, it may be able to further increase the MacBook’s market share,” it said.
Yuanta said it favored select Taiwanese suppliers to Apple, such as Catcher Technology Co (可成科技), Radiant Opto-Electronics Corp (瑞儀光電), Parade Technologies Ltd (譜瑞科技), Taiwan Surface Mounting Technology Corp (台灣表面黏著科技), Flexium Interconnect Inc (台郡科技), Global Lighting Technologies Inc (茂林光電), FitTech Co (惠特科技) and TSMC.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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