Apple has reportedly given up its plan to use RAM chips made by Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. in the iPhone 14 series. It apparently ran into too much resistance from U.S. politicians, including suggestions the chips would somehow be used to surveil Americans.
To be clear, the chips would not have been used in iPhones sold outside of China.
iPhone chips are surprisingly controversial
Apple currently sources iPhone DRAM and NAND flash memory from Korean companies, primarily Samsung. But a recent report said Apple had agreed to use YMTC-made RAM in the iPhone 14 models.
YMTC is partially owned by the Chinese government and has ties to the Chinese military. There have been calls for it to be added to the U.S. Entity List of companies that face import restrictions.
Republican lawmakers protested. Marco Rubio (R.-FL) told the Financial Times, “We cannot allow Chinese companies beholden to the Communist party into our telecommunications networks and millions of Americans’ iPhones.”
But Apple had already told the Financial Times that it plans to only use the YMTC chips in iPhones sold in China.
And now the whole plan has been dropped. Nikkei Asia reported Monday, “Apple has put on hold plans to use memory chips from China’s Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC) in its products.”