Apple to Buy 3D NAND Memory from Chinese YMTC

Apple has reportedly approved 3D NAND flash produced by Yangtze Memory Technologies Corp. and will now use it for its upcoming iPhone 14 smartphones. The move represents a strong win for YMTC and will ensure steady supply of flash memory for Apple’s next-generation products. 

For now, Yangtze Memory will supply Apple 3D NAND for its upcoming iPhone 14 handsets, reports BusinessKorea. Smartphones are Apple’s most popular products, so Apple needs boatload of DRAM and NAND for its smartphones. But eventually Apple could adopt YMTC’s memory for other products as well. For example, YMTC has extremely competitive products incoming, such as its latest family of six-plane 3D NAND chips featuring the company’s Xtacking 3.0 architecture and a 2400 MT/s interface speed. These chips could eventually enable some of the best SSDs

It is going to take a while for YMTC’s latest products to mature and get into Apple’s other products. But considering specifications offered by the company’s latest 3D NAND devices as well as Apple’s expertise in 3D NAND and controllers, YMTC’s have all chances to land into iPads or Macs at some point. 

Being one of the world’s largest consumers of 3D NAND flash, Apple tends to procure memory from different vendors, including Kioxia, Samsung, and SK Hynix. Adding YMTC to the supply chain means that Apple will now have more choice from characteristics and performance points of view as well as better positions to negotiate prices as many products supplied by the four manufacturers are more or less identical. 

From YMTC standpoint, winning a supply contract with Apple is a big deal as so far the company has primarily shipped its 3D NAND as well as solid-state drives to Chinese vendors.