Following a five-year hiatus, Samsung is once again set to begin supplying Apple with NAND flash memory chips in 2017, according to a report published recently by ET News. Samsung last supplied NAND flash memory chips to Apple back in 2012, with the launch of the iPhone 5. Back then, a disagreement between Samsung and Apple over the requirements for electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding through the packaging changes led to the break-up.
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.
The ETNews report corroborates an earlier rumor, also published by ETNews, which asserted that crucial iPhone 7 chips—such as the main ‘A10’ processor, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules, cellular modems and RF chips—will be protected by EMI shielding.
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.