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Apple iPad may stall move to SSDs

updated 08:45 am EST, Fri March 5, 2010

iPad flash crunch may make SSD too expensive

Apple's impending launch of the iPad may hamper the ability of other companies to use solid-state drives, those within the hard drive business claimed on Friday. The company reportedly already consumes as much as a third of all supplies of NAND flash memory to make iPhones and iPods, and the addition of a third primarily flash-based product could tighten supplies further. By reducing availability, Apple could force the price of the remaining supply to go up and render SSDs more expensive to make.

Flash manufacturers have been increasing the amount of memory they can make at once by developing denser memory at 30 nanometers or smaller, but prices have so far still been on the rise this year, according to the DigiTimes tips. While 20nm memory could solve this, it wouldn't arrive until the second half of 2011, or well after the immediate supply crunch.

SSDs did increase in capacity over the course of 2009, culminating in 512GB solid-state drives that shipped in a handful of systems, but prices with few exceptions didn't decrease substantially over the period. A 256GB drive can cost as much as $1,000 depending on its performance and predicted longevity, while 128GB drives are more likely to cost near $500.

by MacNN Staff




  1. qazwart

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This is Ridiculous!

    People using SSD drives in computers are using a at a minimum of 64Gb drives. The most popular size is 128Gb. The iPad's SSD drive starts out at 16Gb and goes up to 64Gb. The vast majority of iPads will be the 16Gb model and that's square in USB Thumb Drive territory.

    The opposite will actually occur. We're beginning to see large SSD drives now because the iPhone and iPod Touch have created a vast market for them. From what I've been reading, Western Digital and Seagate are working on SSD drives as large as 2 Terabytes. Those aren't for iPads.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple is always being blamed for negatively

    disrupting the memory industry. What puzzles me is that I thought higher demands for memory would be a good thing for the memory industry. They're getting their money back quickly for their R&D which should drive the memory industry even faster to denser memory. Overall, that would be a good thing for the computer industry. Prices will drop faster for older memory and the new parts will demand higher prices. I don't see how Apple's high demand for supplies is being detrimental to either the memory or computer industry.

    Memory is for devices. What memory Apple needs for its devices is being used. It's not like Apple is taking the memory and just locking it up in a vault or something. Buying the memory it needs is just ordinary business. Apple certainly isn't doing anything illegal or unfair.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    And I thought the move to SSDs for computers was stalled as people were waiting for disks of large sizes and low prices. Who knew it was all because Apple has a tablet.

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