Apple turns to arch-rival Samsung as global supply of '3D NAND' memory chips falters

Apple have reportedly fallen short of supplies for the storage chip which is set to feature in the new iPhone line-up. A report by Digitimes claims a shortage of up to 30 percent in the supply of these storage chips.

The report claims that both SK Hynix and Toshiba, who are Apple's main suppliers, have suffered from yield rates lower than they had expected for their 3D NAND flash chips, resulting in a smaller supply available for Apple's 2017 series of iPhones. Apple has had to call on arch rivals Samsung to make up for the shortfall.

NAND memory is a type of memory used in almost all forms of solid-state storage. 3D NAND is an extension of this technology and is a method for packing a much higher density of transistors in a slightly larger volume of space. This is done, in layman's terms, by 'folding' a traditional NAND substrate to create ridges and valleys.

This is turning out to be a bigger problem for smaller players in the smartphone market such as LG and Huawei. 9TO5Mac claims in a report that while Apple has the money to secure supply even when production does not go smoothly, other vendors are struggling with the lack of NAND flash globally. The supply of 3D NAND is not expected to improve until 2018.

The report also goes on to state that as per an estimate by analysts, Apple buys up around 18 percent of the world's supply of NAND chips, and that this percentage could increase significantly if the iPhone 8 turns out to be a success.

In related news, Samsung is expecting a record second quarter owing to the global shortfall in NAND supply.

Published Date: Jul 07, 2017 13:21 PM | Updated Date: Jul 07, 2017 13:21 PM