Ukraine: Can Apple solve this new supply chain challenge?

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine this week is likely to mean an increased list of economic sanctions that affect everyone, including the technology supply chain that relies on Ukraine for some vital raw materials used in chip manufacturing .

Can Apple solve the supply chain challenge?

My heart goes out to all those affected by the plunder of any war, and like everyone this week we are watching the people of Ukraine. Poor people tend to tolerate what they have to endure, and recent history rarely shows that lasting victory comes from a single gun barrel. So, think of Kyiv-based technology developers in Ukraine, like the ones I spoke to recently from MacPaw and Setapp.

You can read a statement from MacPaw here. Apple is too said it will support local humanitarian efforts.

But, it’s not just development (and also wheat) originating in Ukraine; the nation is also rich in hard-to-find raw materials used in silicon chips and advanced sensors. This includes the neon gas used by chip-made lasers, palladium, and about 90% of US grade semiconductor neon. Referring to a US consulting firm, Teiccet, Reuters warning that if the conflict escalates, some of the world’s largest chipmakers could be affected. Intel, for example, gets half a neon from Eastern Europe.

Intel is probably not the only supplier that will be affected.

Can Apple be immune?

It is not just about core processor production. Even if the big tech firms succeed, how will any shortage of raw materials affect the supply of those hard-to-find materials that Apple CEO Tim Cook calls “heritage nodes?”

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

Ukraine: Can Apple solve this new supply chain challenge?

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