Apple planning to make iPhone and iPad chips at a foundry in New York

12 Nov 2013

The iPhone 5s

Apple’s spearheading of the re-industrialisation of the United States continues with news that the tech giant is considering contracting GlobalFoundries to make chips for the iPhone and iPad at a plant in Malta, New York.

According to a report in the Times Union newspaper, GlobalFoundries is preparing to make chips for Apple’s iPhone and iPad at its Fab 8 plant in New York.

Samsung currently makes the logic processors for Apple at a plant in Texas. Samsung is understood to be playing a role in helping Apple make use of a new US$2bn Technology Development Centre that GlobalFoundries is building, otherwise known as Fab 8.1, a 565,000 sq-foot facility currently under construction and due for completion next year.

It is understood that while Apple does not make its own components, it is keen to work with suppliers that have a domestic supply base in the US; in Samsung’s case, Austin, Texas.

US Senator Charles Schumer from New York is understood to be actively encouraging Apple to consider developing a manufacturing and research partnership with GlobalFoundries.

The re-industrialisation of the United States

The recent economic crisis woke America up to the reality that it let entire industries, like display and assembly, slip through its fingers to locations elsewhere in the world.

The result? Soaring unemployment and cities like Detroit, Michigan, are virtually ghost towns.

In the past year – while pointing out that US skills levels are nowhere near where they need to be for hi-tech manufacturing jobs – Apple CEO Tim Cook has been slowly shifting strategic projects back to the US.

This began with some Mac production in California. Last week, it emerged that Apple is to build a 700-job manufacturing facility in Arizona, in a move that will also create 1,300 construction jobs. It has also signed a US$578m deal with GT Advanced Technologies to secure supply of sapphire.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years