16GB Flash iPod Claim
The introduction of the device may create significant problems in the wake of the recent Samsung power outage that disrupted worldwide production of flash memory, the sources said. An iPod demanding more, higher-capacity chips would put added strain on the Korean firm's reduced supply, which may also have been hurt by the shift towards more advanced chips made with a smaller manufacturing process. A drop in Apple shares on Friday is said to have been triggered by concerns that the California company would not meet iPhone and iPod shipment targets if flash memory production could not recover in time.
Samsung itself has mitigated these concerns with news that it had already resumed full production at all six of the downed factories by mid-Saturday, trumping worst-case fears of a one-month downtime. At least some of the chips that were on assembly lines during the outage can be reused, Samsung added. Though still a significant factor, an estimate from CW Chung of analyst group Lehman Brothers pegs Samsung's loss at only 9 percent of its total flash memory output for the quarter.
The company itself said there should be no apparent problems for its customers, which include Apple. "We have assured our key flash chip clients that there would be no supply problem," said Samsung's semiconductor head Hwang Chang-gyu.