Hyundai EgmpSource: Hyundai

What you need to know

  • Apple's biggest supplier is buying a plant to make chips for electric vehicles.
  • Foxconn is spending $90 million on a semiconductor plant in Hsinchu, Taiwan.
  • Apple is rumored to have an electric vehicle, but it's still years away.

Apple's biggest supplier, Foxconn, has agreed to purchase a semiconductor plant in Taiwan to solidify its push into electric vehicle manufacturing, with Apple itself rumored to be planning an Apple Car down the road.

From Nikkei Asia:

Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn said on Thursday it will buy a semiconductor plant from a local memory chip supplier for $90 million, marking a major step by the iPhone assembler to secure a source of chips for its nascent electric vehicle business.

Foxconn has started to focus heavily on electric vehicle production to balance out a slowdown in consumer electronics, and the company's chairman has said that chip supply is crucial because of the global semiconductor shortage.

The plant belongs to another Apple supplier, Macronix International, which makes memory chips for Apple, Sony, and Nintendo. The plant is a 6-inch fab located in Hsinchu, Taiwan.

One source noted "It's strategically important for Foxconn to acquire the plant given that the market is still hungry for mature-chip capacity like what Macronix provides. It will also help Foxconn to strengthen its roadmap for semiconductors in the longer term."

Multiple reports from reliable sources including Mark Gurman and Ming-Chi Kuo indicate that Apple has a car somewhere down the line, with date estimates ranging between 2024 and sometime in the next decade for a release. Some reports have indicated it will use Hyundai's E-GMP platform and could be made in partnership with an established car manufacturer like Kia.