According to DigiTimes, Apple will turn to Samsung to buy NAND flash memory chips for the iPhone.
Supply chain sources cited in the report say that Apple will use Samsung Electronics as an alternative supplier starting in 2023 due to some restrictions. That suggests they will be used in the iPhone 15 series, but it’s also possible that Apple will introduce them into production for the iPhone 14 series.
Samsung, long a major supplier of DRAM chips for iPhone phones, will start supplying NAND flash memory for iOS devices next year from its plant in Xi’an, China, which currently contributes 40 percent of the Samsung supplier’s total 3D NAND flash memory capacity, with layers ranging from 128 to 176, the sources said.
Unlike its competitors, Samsung has not implemented production cuts in response to sluggish NAND flash market demand, which may be due in part to its access to Apple’s supply chain. In addition, Samsung is believed to be able to afford to offer cuts and production increases that will further strengthen its competitiveness.
Samsung has been supplying components for the iPhone. For example, Samsung made early processors for the iPhone and iPad, RAM memory for various Apple models over the past 20 years, and screen panels for the iPhone 14 Pro. Samsung was an early supplier of flash memory for the original iPhone but was replaced around 2011 or 2012 by South Korea’s SK Hynix — the company Apple has been sourcing flash memory from for more than 20 years.