On Oct. 7, the US government placed YMTC on its "Unverified List", a list of entities whose end users cannot be verified by government officials. This means that Apple is prohibited from sharing any designs, technologies, documents, or specifications with the company, unless it obtains a special license. Companies on the "Unverified List" will be moved to the official export control blacklist, known as the "Entity List", if they fail to provide more details about their operations.
"Apple may continue wanting to use YMTC in the local market for China. But the way the regulations are set up currently, it's very unlikely that YMTC will even be able to supply the kind of NAND chips in a couple of years that Apple would want," said Brent Fredberg, director of investments at Brandes Investment Partners in San Diego.
It appears that Apple is now planning to purchase NAND from Samsung instead.
Samsung, long the main supplier of DRAM chips for iPhones, is set to start next year supplying NAND flash for iOS devices from its plant in China's Xian plant, which now contributes 40% of the Korean vendor's total 3D NAND flash capacity, ranging from 128 to 176 layers, the sources said.
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