Apple Execs Rush to Samsung in Korea Fearing Disruption in iPhone Chip Supplies

Apple execs have rushed to Samsung HQ to ensure iPhone DRAMS and NAND flash memory cards supplies remain uninterrupted. Google, Microsoft, and Amazon execs join Apple reps on a visit to Korea in face escalating Japan-Korea trade war.

Apple seems worried about critical iPhone chip components (DRAMS and NAND flash memory cards) supplies from Samsung in Korea. It appears to anticipate a fallout from the current trade war spat between Japan and Korea.

Apple iPhones Production Depends on Critical DRAM & NAND Chips from Samsung in Korea

Hence, Apple execs visited Korea to understand the delicate trade situation and ensure consistent supplies of its critical iPhone components that will affect displays in iPhones.

In the global DRAM manufacturing, Samsung rules as a colossus bagging highest 45.3 percent market share in 2018. As it requires certain chemicals that are banned or restricted for exports from Japan to Korea, Samsung will face disruption, adversely affecting its supplies for global markets.

“Market watchers see the latest move of the tech firms indicates 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.”

During the visit, Apple execs were purportedly joined by representatives from Google, Microsoft, and Amazon to understand the implications emanating from the ground zero. There was however no official confirmation from any side, so far.

Apple Top Brass Trying to Mitigate US-China Trade War Effects

The Japan-Korea trade wars are played out over punitive actions as well as restrictions over exports. They have now eclipsed the current US-China and other trade disputes leaving Apple execs further worried.

Apple already struggles planning to shift 15% to 30% production out of China due to trade disputes between the US and China. New production hubs in Vietnam, Korea, India, and other countries are being sought by Apple to mitigate the situation and bring down production costs as well as reduce dependence on Chinese suppliers.

We wonder that if ever this visit happened, how much of a commitment Apple execs were able to extract from Samsung on uninterrupted supplies? Are the complex trade issues likely to snowball beyond anybody’s control?

Can Apple avert this possible major production/supplies disruption issue and come out a winner like before?  Do tell us about it all.

Image Credit: Theverge