Not sure I follow…
TSMC buys the lithography machines from ASML. ASML is really the king of lithography by a huge margin, almost everyone else is either so behind that they’re a non factor or closed doors. But the bulk of the “witchcraft” is on ASML’s side, not TSMC. They just somehow had so much capital injected to buy the majority of ASML’s yearly output that they choked competition.
But still, what’s to stop Apple from buying these? They’re $150M a pop. Surely they can figure out the rest with the budget and smart peoples they have. US government would probably even step in to help as they want to lower their dependency to Taiwan as it’s almost a WW3 trigger point with China at this point.
If it were anywhere near as simple as buying machines, Samsung, Intel, Glofo, etc would all be churning out the same nodes with the same yields as TSMC.