According to Business Korea
, Apple has decided to include YTMC into its supply system and become a supplier of iPhone memory chips to supply NAND flash memory chips for the upcoming iPhone 14 series. It is said that Apple and YTMC started contact as early as 2018, but at that time they were unable to provide the memory chips that Apple
needed, and products that meet Apple’s requirements cannot be produced until after 2020. However, the current capacity of YTMC is limited, and the yield rate needs to be further improved to ensure a stable supply.
At present, Samsung, SK Hynix, and Kioxia are responsible for the supply of Apple’s NAND flash memory chips, while Samsung and SK Hynix are responsible for the supply of DRAM chips. Apple is highly dependent on South Korean manufacturers for NAND flash memory chips and DRAM chips, and Apple is also one of Samsung’s top five customers.
According to industry insiders, Apple’s cooperation with YTMC is to diversify its suppliers to reduce the purchase cost of NAND flash memory. Apple’s choice of cooperation with BOE has a similar factor and needs to reduce its reliance on Samsung display panels. In the three years from 2019 to 2021, Apple paid an average of about 1 trillion won to Samsung each year as compensation for the amount of failure to fulfill the purchase agreement. It is unusual for Apple to pay compensation to suppliers, indicating that it is highly dependent on Samsung for supply.
YTMC’s provision of NAND flash memory chips for the iPhone is just the beginning. When the time is right, it is highly likely to join the supply chain of iPad and Mac products.