Apple considers more memory chip suppliers, including Chinese firm

Asian Tech Press (Mar. 31) -- Apple Inc. is considering an expansion of its list of memory chip suppliers, intended to include a Chinese company.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported Thursday that Apple is considering expanding its supplier list, which already includes Micron Technology Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. after Kioxia Holdings Corp. lost a batch of products to material contamination in February.

While South Korea's Samsung and SK Hynix, the world's largest flash memory makers, may pick up the slack, Apple remains keen to diversify its supply chain network and offset the risk of further disruptions caused by COVID-19 and shipping crisis, people familiar with the matter said.

The iPhone maker is now testing samples of NAND flash memory chips made by China's IDM memory company Yangtze Memory Technologies Corp. (YMTC), the sources said. Apple has been discussing a partnership with YMTC for months, although no final decision has been made.

Founded in July 2016 in Wuhan, China, after Tsinghua Unigroup acquired a majority stake in state-owned Wuhan Xinxin Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (XMC), Yangtze Memory is an IDM memory company focused on the design, production and sales of 3D NAND flash memory chips.

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