iPhone 15 to drop controversial memory supplier in favor of an Apple rival

Apple iPhone 14 in store
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has reportedly suspended plans to use Chinese supplier Yangtze Memory Technologies (YMTC) for future iPhone memory chips.

The company was initially expected to provide 128-layer NAND flash memory chips for the Chinese market in 2023, like for Apple's iPhone 15 and beyond. But a new report says that Apple has decided against the move and will instead use Samsung Electronics.

YMTC out, Samsung in

The move, reported by DigiTimes, comes after similar rumors surfaced last month. It's thought that Apple has been working for months on a deal that would see YMTC become a key iPhone memory supplier for the Chinese market, but a change in U.S. export controls means that the company is no longer approved.

YMTC has been added to a list of companies that Apple and others are no longer allowed to share specific information with. Companies like YMTC have been labeled as "unverified," meaning officials have not been able to inspect them.

As a result, Apple would need to get a license in order to work with the company and it seems it has decided against going through that process.

The move comes amid an ongoing move by Apple to reduce its reliance on Chinese tech companies, specifically for its international business. Using Chinese companies to provide parts for the Chinese market is something Apple seems happy to do, hence this failed deal with YMTC.

Of course, YMTC's loss is Samsung Electronics' gain, with chips expected to begin to flow starting in 2023, likely ahead of the launch of the iPhone 15 lineup.

Apple's future flagship is already hotly anticipated. We expect Apple to use USB-C rather than lightning for a start, while a new A17 CPU should push graphical and computational performance beyond the current best iPhone — the iPhone 14 Pro.

If all goes according to previous years we can expect Apple to announce the iPHone 15 lineup in or around September of 2023.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.