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Apple makes mystery 100m flash chip order

updated 07:45 am EDT, Thu April 9, 2009

Apple 100m Flash Order

Apple is causing a supply crunch due to a large, mystery order for NAND flash memory, leaks from "downstream suppliers" say. DigiTimes hears that the company has placed an order for 100 million 8Gb (1GB) chips from Samsung and is reportedly spurring a supply shortage. Combined with orders from Nokia and Sony, the demand may leave little for other customers until "at least" the end of May.

What purpose the memory has at Apple isn't specified and isn't immediately evident. On high-end devices like the iPhone and iPod touch, Apple typically uses much higher-density storage due to space and capacity constraints. Simultaneously, the new iPod shuffle is also believed to be using one chip to reach its 4GB capacity. iPod nanos typically use multiple chips that may fit the described order, though a likely storage increase with the next update may call this into question.

It's also unclear whether these are complete chip packages, which often stack layers of memory, or simply individual memory chips themselves.

Regardless of use, the order suggests a significant product ramp up for a low-cost device being shipped in large numbers during the second half of the year. Apple and other companies regularly make bulk orders for memory months ahead of when they expect to use it.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Haha. I wonder if Palm

    is going to be able to get any memory for their Pre. It appears Apple is going to be stockpiling flash memory to the max. It's the only company that doesn't use microSD slots. I only hope that Apple can sell as many products as it produces.

  1. dynsight

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not JIT

    Never makes much sense to horde. There is a real cost to holding (and not using) inventory. I suspect you will see 32GB-64GB iphones and higher capacity touches 64GB-128GB....

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Can't be a mystery if everyone knows about it.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: not jit

    I suspect you will see 32GB-64GB iphones and higher capacity touches 64GB-128GB....

    But these have no use in such devices.

    And it certainly is WAY too much for use in Macs (although a 1GB flash chip to hold the OS would be an interesting addition to the Mac lineup).

    And don't discount the fact that this is just a made up story by the suppliers so they can ramp up their prices and increase demand.

  1. ggirton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    it must be for...

    I have a 32G touch and it is no where near filled up. It's the most capacious touch. I have books, songs and... movies.

    I think i know what the new RAMS are for (if the story is true). I think it is for a little hand carried TV. Of course it will have all the capability of the touch and many of the capabilities of the phone. And perhaps some of the capabilities of the HD Mino.

  1. Justy

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Cameras can have 1GB internal memory...

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