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The Quake That Almost Halted the iPhone 7

Posted by Albert Chiang | February 23, 2016

The event that caused the scare? A 6.4 magnitude earthquake that struck near the city of Tainan—a special municipality in Southern Taiwan—on February 6, 2016.


Few people realize how critical Taiwan is in both industrial electronics and modern consumer electronics. Case in point: TSMC will be the sole supplier of Apple’s A10 processor—to be used in the upcoming iPhone 7. TSMC, a bellwether for the Taiwan electronics industry, gave an initial assessment that the impact to wafer shipments would be “less than 1%”. But as the days passed, TSMC has lowered its wafer shipment estimates after a more accurate assessment of the damage is now being realized. The silver lining? The earthquake acted as a sort of functional disaster recovery drill.