Number One Apple Partner Foxconn Buys Chip Factory as EV Push Gains Traction

Foxconn is mostly known as the company that builds the iPhone, but as the world’s largest electronics manufacturer, the Taiwanese firm is obviously investing in plenty of other industry sectors.
Foxconn says the chip plant will support its EV expansion plans 8 photos
Photo: Foxconn
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And just as expected, Foxconn is considering expanding in the automotive industry as well, with people familiar with the matter previously indicating the company could therefore continue its collaboration with Apple even in this market by handling the production of the highly anticipated Apple Car.

Until this happens, however, Foxconn is trying to pave the way for an ambitious strategy known as 3+3, which it uses to invest in EVs, digital health, robotics and AI, semiconductors, and advanced communications.

So most recently, Foxconn decided to purchase the 6-inch water fab belonging to Macronix, as the company says this acquisition would speed up its EV expansion plan.

The agreement involves a NT$2.52 billion (about $90.5 million) takeover of the chip production plant and all the equipment. The transaction is scheduled to close by the end of this year.

So does this mean that Foxconn is finally ready to take care of the Apple Car production? Not necessarily.

According to the latest rumors out there, Apple actually wants its self-driving EV to be manufactured by a new joint venture formed by LG and Magna. Foxconn could always step in and become the second manufacturer, as reducing reliance on a single supplier is something that Apple typically does for other products as well in an attempt to avoid production constraints.

However, nothing seems to be set in stone right now, especially because the Apple Car is still a project whose ETA is still uncertain.

Sources with knowledge of Apple’s plans previously suggested the Apple Car could see the daylight in 2025 at the earliest, with a prototype likely to go out for testing in 2023 or 2024. Everything can change overnight without us knowing about it, especially given Apple’s FBI-like secrecy the company typically embraces during the development phase of new products.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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