iPad Pro Teardown Shows Increase in Taiwanese Components: Nikkei

Taiwanese parts are becoming increasingly more common in Apple devices, especially the new iPad Pro.

According to a new report from Nikkei, a teardown of the latest iPad Pro found that Taiwanese electronics parts makers are responsible for some 20 percent of all the components in value terms, second only to South Korean suppliers.

“Taiwanese suppliers make key parts for what Apple calls the Liquid Retina XDR display,” explains the report. “The core chip for Apple’s flagship tablet computer, designed by the tech giant itself, is also made by a Taiwanese supplier.”

The company estimated the production cost of the model at $510 USD, up more than 30 percent from that of its predecessor. South Korean parts represent 38.6 percent of the cost of the tablet, down from 44 percent.

Taiwan’s share of the total cost, however, surged from 1.7 percent to 18.5 percent. The US slipped one notch to third place with a share of 16.8 percent, while China, including Hong Kong, stayed at No. 4 with a 7.5 percent share. Japan tumbled from the third to the fifth slot, with its share sinking to 2.8 percent from 8.9 percent.

According to the report, Taiwanese makers in the past three or so years have ramped up spending on the development of Mini-LED display technology, employed by the latest iPad Pro. As it has an extended supply chain for the emerging display technology, Taiwan is likely to maintain its lead in the Mini-LED market.

Additionally, the M1 chip, designed and developed by Apple, is categorized as a US-made component. But, the chip is supplied exclusively by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s largest contract chipmaker.

Apple’s growing dependence on Taiwanese suppliers, while interesting in itself, could create risks as global high-tech rivalries intensify, especially in Asia.