Apple ‘will support local humanitarian work in Ukraine’ – Tim Cook

Tim Cook iPhone 13 series

The Russia – Ukraine war is currently on, although it’s not a full-blown war yet, there are bombs dropping in Ukraine already. While some may consider the warring countries to be insignificant to the technology industry, they actually play a role. Russia and Ukraine produce raw materials that are relevant to chip production. While Russia has a lot of nickel ore, Ukraine is responsible for neon gas. Both raw materials are needed for chip production. In fact, 90% of the U.S. semiconductor-grade neon gas comes from Ukraine.  According to Apple Insider, Apple CEO, Tim Cook expressed concern about the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. He claims that Apple is “doing everything we can for our team there”.

Tim Cook Apple
Tim Cook

As the Russian war broke out in Ukraine, Cook announced on Twitter that Apple would support local humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. He noted that he would also “join all those who call for peace”. While Apple doesn’t have any retail locations in Ukraine, the Cupertino tech giant does work with authorized resellers in the country. In addition, according to the Kyiv Post, Apple has registered a limited liability company in the Ukrainian capital in 2021.

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Russia – Ukraine crisis will not have an immediate impact on chip production

Due to the important raw materials from the warring regions, there are fears that chip production may decline. However, reports from insiders and manufacturers show that there is no direct impact, at least for now. A source close to the Japanese chip industry said

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“Chipmakers haven’t felt an immediate impact, but companies that supply them with semiconductor manufacturing materials buy gases like neon and palladium from Russia and Ukraine. The supply of these materials is already tight, so any further supply pressure is dangerous. It may push up their prices, which in turn may lead to higher chip prices,”

Russia - Ukraine Crisis
Flag of Russia and Ukraine painted on a concrete wall

SK Hynix claims that it has a lot of chip material and it has no need to worry. Although Samsung is closely monitoring the situation, it claims that there is no direct impact on chip production. The South Korean manufacturer also said that its production is proceeding according to plan.

For Intel, GlobalFoundries and UMC, there was no direct response but both companies do not expect any immediate risk due to the Russia – Ukraine situation. As for Taiwanese chip testing company, ASE, production, and work remain stable. Unisem, a Malaysian chip packaging company says its materials are not from Russia or Ukraine. Thus, it has no need to worry.

TSMC, the world’s largest chip foundry, did not respond to comments with regards to this issue.

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