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Apple yet to order flash memory in 2008?

updated 01:20 am EDT, Tue March 11, 2008

Apple Yet to Order Flash

Apple is sending worrying signs that it hasn't ordered any significant amounts of the NAND flash memory it needs, say some of its Asian manufacturers. Although the company bought as much as $1.3 billion in memory over 2007, it hasn't started large orders since 2008 began and is effectively forcing its suppliers to sell flash below cost due to oversupply. Even the MacBook Air, which needs a large 64GB of memory for its solid-state drive, isn't enough to help clear stock due to its high price and low volume, according to the reports.

However, Apple is believed to be designing an ultra-mobile PC using Intel's new Atom platform that would alleviate some of the overstock problems by using a large amount of slower but more ubiquitous multi-level cell (MLC) memory, such as that used in the iPhone and all iPods save for the hard drive-based iPod classic. Without a definite release date for the device, however, there is no indication as to whether Apple will have any meaningful impact on memory prices in the short term.

A lack of orders suggests that Apple does not expect high demand in the next few months, pushing any major releases that depend on flash memory closer to mid-year or later. The company in past years has often reserved its iPod updates for the late summer but has not yet established regular upgrade patterns for either the iPhone or the MacBook Air.

The company is considered one of the largest single purchasers of flash memory and primarily picks up supply from Hynix, Intel, Micron, and Samsung, though it's not clear which if any of these are reporting low orders from Apple or other manufacturers.

by MacNN Staff



  1. chulitomio

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Sounds like someone needs a nap. Oh, and a business model not based on guessing what a single buyer may or may not do.

  1. 64stang06

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "forcing its suppliers to sell flash below cost due to oversupply."

    Maybe that's why Apple is holding off on ordering?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: waaah

    For those who just look at everything as Apple bashing or just whining, you may want to understand the implications of the comments.

    This does not bode well for Apple stock, as investors/analysts are already worried about sales forecasts. This would imply that Apple doesn't have the sales to require a supply.

  1. lkrupp

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Yes, yes, Testy, we all know you have once again started the "Apple Death Spiral Clock" at one minute till doomsday. Let's see if you're right this time around.

  1. Tim_s

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: hmm..

    I think 64stang06 is right. That's the first thing that popped into my head, Apple trying to get the price of flash memory down to a more manageable level. Who wants to pay an extra grand on the SSD option for the MBA?

    Not only is Jobs shrewd, he can be a bit cutthroat at times. Let's hope this doesn't bite Apple in the butt.

  1. MiMiC

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Flash From Intel?

    I thought Apple might start getting this from Intel now? Flash and processors bundled together??? Why not.

  1. chulitomio

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: re: waaah

    For those who just jump to conclusions about how posters look at *everything*, you may want to understand the implications of your comments.

    *Nothing* *ever* bodes well for Apple stock, as good news from Apple drops the stock the same as bad news.

    It implies *absolutely nothing* about Apple's sales, as there are dozens of possibilities.

    Someone's counting chickens at a remote location, before the eggs are even laid.

    Funny to hear *you* say "for those who look at every situation a certain way..."


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