Apple reportedly abandoned plans to purchase up to 40% of iPhone flash memory chips from Chinese company YMTC after the US government imposed export controls on the chipmaker.
According to reports, the Cupertino company had a two-step strategy for purchasing memory chips from the Chinese firm Yangtze Memory Technologies Co…
Plans for iPhone flash memory
iPhone flash storage chips are one of the ways Apple achieves its enviable margins, with the company charging $100 for each increase in capacity.
Many of these chips are currently purchased by Apple from two Japanese companies, Western Digital and Kioxia, with additional supplies coming from Samsung and SK Hynix. In March, it was reported that Apple planned to add a Chinese supplier to the list for the first time.
The iPhone maker is currently testing sample NAND flash memory chips made by Hubei-based Yangtze Memory Technologies Co., [sources] said, declining to be identified because the discussions are private. Apple has been debating a partnership with the Yangtze, which is owned by Beijing-backed chipmaking champion Tsinghua Unigroup Co., for months, with no final decisions made.
Some saw this as a controversial plan at the time, not only because it increased rather than decreased Apple’s reliance on China, but also because it came at a time when the US administration was unhappy with China’s ambiguous stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Unlike most other countries, China did not condemn the invasion and occupation, nor did it freeze assets or impose sanctions prohibiting the import of Russian goods.
The US government added YMTC to a list of “unverified” Chinese companies earlier this month, which means that US officials have been unable to conduct checks to ensure that the chipmaker is not supplying Huawei. Following spy-chip allegations, the Chinese telecoms company’s products have been banned in the United States.