The Quake That Almost Halted the iPhone 7

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.

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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. 

 

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