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Apple, new tech trigger flash oversupply?

updated 12:30 pm EST, Wed December 26, 2007

Apple 50nm Flash Overstock

A combination of Apple's seasonal sales and new manufacturing process are instigating a crisis in NAND flash memory, claim memory makers. As Apple typically ramps down its requests for the memory to reflect cooling demand after the holidays, the company has left the associated chipmakers with excess stock that will force them to drop prices to clear warehouses: immediate prices for 8-gigabit (2GB) and 16-gigabit (4GB) multi-level flash chips have dropped by as much as 25 percent in the second half of this month, the report says. Additionally, more densely-packed 50-nanometer flash memory has begun mass production at the same time, increasing the amount of overall memory on the market.

Apple is likely to have exacerbated the supply this issue through increased demand for flash memory versus last year, having added both the iPhone and iPod touch to its demands for NAND storage while also shifting the iPod nano to increased amounts of flash storage. The company is the only of its kind believed to have escaped a sales drop during the holiday shopping season and so will have put greater pressure on its contractors than other jukebox designers.

The use of solid-state drives for impending ultraportables and other notebooks may help soak up some of the extra stock but is not expected to have a dramatic effect as most SSDs are still too expensive for the average user, the memory makers predict.

The overall situation may clear by January but may cause a reverse crisis as companies that have cleared out their excess storage need to ramp up production once again.

by MacNN Staff



  1. lkrupp

    Joined: Dec 1969



    According to the various flavors of trolls flooding the blogs and forums Apple is a tiny, miniscule, irrelevant, niche player in a giant market dominated by the big boys like Nokia, Dell, HP, and Microsoft. How could Apple, with it's tiny, almost non-existent market share, and being irrelevant too, possibly affect entire markets like this article suggests? How could a company so small and irrelevant make the big boys c*** in their pants (Motorola for one) when they hear Apple is entering a market?

    I ask for informational purposes only. :-)

  1. notehead

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If this is a situation that arises every year, then why can't the manufacturers plan their production accordingly? Anyway, it's hard to imagine this will be a genuine "crisis" with the constant introduction of new nand-based devices, such as the Apple's forthcoming mini-laptops.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: but

    Um, maybe you missed it, but Apple isn't tiny or miniscule in the MP3 player market, which is one of the larger consumers of these types of things. The iPod has been quite large for quite a few years now, and this has happened before and blamed on Apple.

    Oh, wait, were you trying to be funny???

  1. robttwo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    proving, again, stupidity

    Once again, the utter stupidity of "corporations" is revealed.

    This reminds me of the oil companies. Every winter they say supplies are short because of winter formulations, home heating, etc - and the prices go up. Then in the summer they say supply is short because they are switching over from winter. And the prices go up.

    Hey, wait a minute - maybe not so stupid afterall.


  1. leamanc

    Joined: Dec 1969


    8 gigabit?

    That's 8 gigabytes, MacNN.

  1. Bengt77

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: 8 gigabit?

    Yeah, I also smell something funny with the numbers in this article. As I've always understood, 1 byte is 8 bits. Therefore, wouldn't 16 gigabits be (16/8) 2 gigabytes? And wouldn't, with that logic, 8 gigabits actually be 1 gigabyte? Really, I'm confused...

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