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Apple triggering massive flash memory shortage?

updated 03:05 pm EDT, Mon September 14, 2009

Apple triggers holiday 09 flash shortage

Apple's new iPods and other flash-based devices have sparked an industry-wide shortage in the NAND memory they use, unofficial industry contacts claimed today. Samsung, one of Apple's primary suppliers, is claimed by DigiTimes as having cut its supply of flash memory to Taiwan companies in half. Other companies are faring worse, as Hynix and Toshiba have only promised "limited supply" while Micron has simply said it has no spare supplies at all.

The shortage may also play into an increase in prices for short-notice orders of flash memory. Memory producers often raise per-chip prices during shortages to control demand.

No specific product is the most likely candidate for the shortage, though Apple's 32GB iPhone 3GS, as well as the 32GB and 64GB iPod touch, would consume the most in terms of sheer volume per unit. The deal for Chinese iPhones is also likely to affect the amount of memory needed as China Unicom has over 125 million existing customers and could require that Apple build many more iPhones than in the past.

As Apple is one of the world's largest individual customers for flash memory, it has instigated shortages in the past but rarely for multiple suppliers at once.

By Electronista Staff


  1. zaghahzag

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2006


    maybe we can make some here

    Maybe the US of F-ing A can build our own plant and make that stuff ourselves.

    Oh wait, our corporate overlords don't want anyone here employed. they'd rather just get a short term profit.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    America likes to give

    other countries a chance to make money so they'll be grateful to us in the future. Didn't America give up manufacturing stuff a long time ago? I doubt that trend will ever reverse itself.

  1. boris_cleto

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2002


    Artificial Shortage

    Any NAND memory shortage is completely artificial. Samsung, Hynix, Toshiba et al. simply stop making chips to create the "limited supply" and drive up prices.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: America

    No, it's because American people stupidly kept insisting that they wanted cheaper products, and that couldn't be done with workers making $6/hour in minimum wage (damn government, costing people jobs!).

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