Samsung Reportedly Supplying Apple with NAND Flash Memory in 2017

Following a five-year hiatus, Apple’s frenemy Samsung is set to supply NAND flash memory chips to Apple for its devices beginning with 2017, ETNews reported Wednesday. NAND flash memory is extensively used across Apple’s many products, including the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Apple TV, Apple Watch and Mac notebooks.

Apple dropped Samsung as a NAND flash supplier following the iPhone 5 introduction in 2012 because the South Korean conglomerate was stuck with ball grid array (BGA) packaging and refused to invest in land grid array (LGA) package contacts that allow the flash memory chips to sit flush with the printed circuit board and were required to comply with Apple’s electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding requirements.

For its part, Samsung has remained a leader when it comes to NAND flash memory chip manufacturing. Indeed, the company recently rolled out 256GB NAND chips mass production, immediately speaking theories that the iPhone 7 from Apple could support the larger storage capacity when it launches later this year. If this report of Samsung supplying NAND flash memory chips to Apple is true, then it would lend credence that Apple could launch a 256GB iPhone at some point in the future, even if that means potential buyers would have to wait until next year.

“It is predicted that supply will be possible starting from next year,” reads the report.

While prior iPhones have used EMI shielding on the printed circuit board and the connectors to reduce electromagnetic interference, fully protecting the rest of the chips might make it simpler for Apple’s engineers to fully waterproof their next iPhone.

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