Apple execs visit Samsung in South Korea amid fears over limited iPhone chips

iPhone XR hero image
iPhone XR hero image (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Executives from Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google visited Samsung in South Korea over fears of limited chips.
  • An ongoing trade war between South Korea and Japan could limit certain chemicals Samsung uses for its production.
  • This could cause a shortage in the DRAM and NAND chips it supplies for products like the iPhone.

Apple and other tech giants sent executives to meet up with Samsung in South Korea over fears of limited DRAM and NAND supplies amid the country's trade war with Japan. The report came from The Korea Herald detailing the visit and how it went.

US tech giants, including Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google, have dispatched their respective executives and employees to South Korea to gauge the fallout of the ongoing trade war between Seoul and Tokyo, according to industry sources on July 18.The global tech firms are said to be especially worried about the possible impact on Samsung Electronics DRAM memory chip production.

Samsung is the main supplier for these companies and could see their production severely limited if the trade war gets any worse. Japan's tightened regulations have expanded to three types of chemicals that Samsung uses.

Market watchers see the latest move of the tech firms indicate the increasing concerns in the global tech industry over the trade conflict. Japan has tightened its regulations on the exports of three types of chemicals — fluorinated polyamide, hydrogen fluoride and photoresists, which are considered essential to the manufacturing process of chips and displays.Fluorinated polyimide is used in manufacturing smartphone displays, while hydrogen fluoride and photoresists are utilized in etching a design on chip wafers and printing circuit patterns, respectively.

If Samsung is short of these chemicals, its production could severely be limited thus causing great concern for these companies.

It's not yet clear if Samsung's production will hit a snag, but if it does, these big tech companies could end up scrambling to find parts for their devices.

Danny Zepeda