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Update: TSMC says Q1 shipments unaffected by quake, no damage at other Apple suppliers

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Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) said some silicon wafers were damaged at a plant in southern Taiwan where an earthquake hit early on Saturday, but that first-quarter shipments would be unaffected.

[TAIPEI] Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) said some silicon wafers were damaged at a plant in southern Taiwan where an earthquake hit early on Saturday, but that first-quarter shipments would be unaffected.

The world's largest contract chipmaker has production facilities in Tainan city, around 315 km (196 miles) south of the capital Taipei, where a 6.4-magnitude temblor led to the collapse of a 17-storey building and at least five deaths.

TSMC is so far the only major Apple supplier in southern Taiwan to report damage from the earthquake.

Acting spokeswoman Elizabeth Sun told Reuters that wafers in the process of manufacture were seen broken, and that their replacement may affect some customers. She said staff were safe and that the firm's Tainan facilities were structurally intact.

"We will increase production activity," she said. "We will be able to make up for the wafer losses and so first quarter shipments will not be affected." Ms Sun said the value and number of wafers broken were still being assessed, and that the company planned to release a statement on the matter later in the day.

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Catcher Technology Co Ltd, which makes metallic casings for Apple's iPhones, iPads and MacBooks, said its Tainan manufacturing facilities were not damaged by the quake.

Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (ASE), which tests chips before they reach device assemblers, said operations in Kaohsiung, 50 km south, were also unaffected.

Analysts said ASE supplies components for iPhone fingerprint sensors as well as for the Apple Watch.

REUTERS

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