DRAM, NAND supplies for 'iPhone 8' tight in global shortage of components

Posted:
in iPhone
Apple's 2017 iPhone production may be impacted by an industry-wide shortage of DRAM has been compounded by a production problem at a Micron plant, and aggravated by low yields of 3D NAND production from Apple suppliers SK Hynix and Toshiba.




An incident at a fabrication plant has resulted in the loss of some quantity of DRAM, which will further stress supplies of the commodity, industry wide. Early reports cited by DigiTimes, declaring that nitrogen mishandling caused the problem, claim that up to 50 percent of the wafers in production were trashed as a result of an incident, with TrendForce estimating that 5.5 percent of the global production for July was impacted.

Micron has acknowledged that there was an incident, but differs about the impact to global supply -- but shared no numbers on losses.

"Regarding recent rumors about Micron's fabrication facility in Taoyuan, Taiwan, Micron hereby clarifies that there was no nitrogen leaking incident nor evacuating of personnel," Micron said in a statement to Reuters. "There was indeed a minor facility event but operations are recovering speedily without material impact to the business."

The facility in question, the ex-Inotera Memories foundry, is known to have produced LPDDR4 iPhone RAM in the past.

Apple has historically caused strain on the DRAM supply when it ramps up iPhone production. As a result of Apple's seasonal production demands, and the fabrication facility accident prices across the board for mobile and desktop RAM are expected to keep climbing for the remainder of the year

3D NAND shortages forcing Apple to use Samsung as a supplier, again

Other reports from the supply chain suggest that Sk Hynix and Toshiba are having lower than expected yield rates of 3D NAND flash storage chips, first used in the iPhone 7, and destined for the new batch of iPhones expected in the fall. Apple has other suppliers for the technology, including Samsung, so it is not clear how much of a problem the industry-wide shortage will be.

While less commoditized than DRAM, 3D NAND is still an important technology in the industry. Supplies of the storage chip aren't expected to ease until the middle of 2018, also according to TrendForce.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,266member
    This will have no impact on Apple supply, Apple has supply agreement in placed with their supplier which guarantees they get what they need. This will only impact the open market and distributors and those who buy from distribution will be affected, as well as company who sell direct to consumers. This is a non-story when it comes to Apple and how much memory they get.
    edited July 2017 badmonk
  • Reply 2 of 6
    It seems like a few weeks back, it was being said that Apple was the CAUSE of the global component shortage but now suddenly Apple is stuck in the same shortage hole as every other company. How things turn around in just a couple of weeks. It's not that I believe in any of these rumors but these incidents always seem to involve Apple and supposedly slowing down some new product introduction which, as usual, frightens potential Apple investors away. It's really just so stupid for people to believe these almost certainly unconfirmed rumors. One would think Apple's advanced large orders would almost guarantee Apple first shot at supply which would put the rest of the smartphone industry in a deeper hole than Apple.
    badmonk
  • Reply 3 of 6
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,285member
    It seems like a few weeks back, it was being said that Apple was the CAUSE of the global component shortage but now suddenly Apple is stuck in the same shortage hole as every other company. How things turn around in just a couple of weeks. It's not that I believe in any of these rumors but these incidents always seem to involve Apple and supposedly slowing down some new product introduction which, as usual, frightens potential Apple investors away. It's really just so stupid for people to believe these almost certainly unconfirmed rumors. One would think Apple's advanced large orders would almost guarantee Apple first shot at supply which would put the rest of the smartphone industry in a deeper hole than Apple.
    Apple can be the cause of a shortage and feel the effect of that shortage at the same time. These aren’t mutually exclusive.
  • Reply 4 of 6
    Herbivore2Herbivore2 Posts: 362member
    Apple absolutely needs to bury hatchet when it comes to Samsung. 

    Samsung just announced that they are planning their enterprise v-NAND product, built on an industry leading 64 layer process to be released for the consumer market. Apple could lock up that product for the iPhone. SK Hynix and Toshiba are now a generation behind Samsung and Samsung is accelerating the pace of development for their leading edge v-NAND product. 

    Dont get me wrong. I like Apple products. I like them a lot. But when I can get three days of battery life out of the Gear S3 smartwatch and my friends struggle to get full day from the Apple Watch, samsung is a very capable company. 

    There is no way for Apple to leave Samsung as a components supplier. And it is going to worsen in the future as Samsung pulls further and further ahead. Hence, Apple needs to work with Samsung. The two companies will dominate the mobile OS landscape anyway. And the presence of the other company ensures that anti-trust issues are kept to a minimum. 

    I don't get all of the anti-Samsung bias. They are a very capable and very respected company. It was Google that ripped off iOS with Schmidt having access to all of the high level discussions with respect to the iPhone. 

    I think very highly of both companies. I think quite negatively about Google. And Samsung is assaulting Google with respect to Android. Android won't disappear immediately but the market will move on, much like the case with Windows. 

    SK Hynix and Toshiba are out of their league in competing with Samsung. Apple should abandon their products and set up exclusive deals with Samsung for memory like OLED panels and like they have with TSMC. 
    williamlondonbadmonk
  • Reply 5 of 6
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,309administrator
    Apple absolutely needs to bury hatchet when it comes to Samsung. 

    Samsung just announced that they are planning their enterprise v-NAND product, built on an industry leading 64 layer process to be released for the consumer market. Apple could lock up that product for the iPhone. SK Hynix and Toshiba are now a generation behind Samsung and Samsung is accelerating the pace of development for their leading edge v-NAND product. 

    Dont get me wrong. I like Apple products. I like them a lot. But when I can get three days of battery life out of the Gear S3 smartwatch and my friends struggle to get full day from the Apple Watch, samsung is a very capable company. 

    There is no way for Apple to leave Samsung as a components supplier. And it is going to worsen in the future as Samsung pulls further and further ahead. Hence, Apple needs to work with Samsung. The two companies will dominate the mobile OS landscape anyway. And the presence of the other company ensures that anti-trust issues are kept to a minimum. 

    I don't get all of the anti-Samsung bias. They are a very capable and very respected company. It was Google that ripped off iOS with Schmidt having access to all of the high level discussions with respect to the iPhone. 

    I think very highly of both companies. I think quite negatively about Google. And Samsung is assaulting Google with respect to Android. Android won't disappear immediately but the market will move on, much like the case with Windows. 

    SK Hynix and Toshiba are out of their league in competing with Samsung. Apple should abandon their products and set up exclusive deals with Samsung for memory like OLED panels and like they have with TSMC. 
    I don't think it's Apple that has the hatchet it needs to bury. I think it's Apple users. 

    If the rumors are correct, the OLED screens in the iPhone 8 are Samsung's. The A7 was a Samsung processor, and that was developed and delivered during the first Apple versus Samsung smartphone patent trial. There are other examples, but they escape me at the moment.
    williamlondonbadmonk
  • Reply 6 of 6
    Who remembers the great shortage of '88 when RAM prices jumped to over $300 per megabyte due to a factory fire somewhere in the Far East?
    We thought it would never end... LOLOLOL
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