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Launch of Apple's iCloud could weaken market demand for NAND flash

post #1 of 50
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Some industry players are concerned that Apple, the world's largest consumer of NAND flash memory, could cause demand for memory to dwindle with the introduction of its iCloud service.

Apple's free iCloud could potentially lessen the reliance on storage capacity on users devices, including iPhones, iPads, PCs and Macs, posing a threat to the NAND flash industry, IHS iSuppli has said.

As noted by DigiTimes, the firm predicts the Cupertino, Calif.-based company will account for nearly 30% of global (memory) demand" in 2011.

"Shipments of NAND flash memory for various Apple products are anticipated to reach 5.2 billion GB-equivalent units in 2011, out of a total global market of 18.5 billion GB-equivalent units, analysts indicated.

IHS Suppli further added that Apples 28.3 percent share is the single largest block of NAND flash consumption by one company." Apple's dominance in the flash memory market appears set to continue for a few years and is expected to remain at 29 percent for the next two years. But, the company's portion of the market will gradually slide to around 25 percent in 2015, if IHS is to be believed.

IHS memory analyst Dee Nguyen said Apple's move to the cloud could have "significant implications" on the memory market. "With Apple products like the iPhone and iPad accounting for a disproportionate share of NAND flash demand, any move among Apple users to offload storage to the company's iCloud service could mean a corresponding decrease in demand for physical NAND flash memory in the future," the analyst said.

IHS estimates that iCloud could theoretically decrease storage needs by as much as 100GB per user, based on a rough calculation of "a rate of 4MB per song at Apple's stated cap of 25,000 songs." The resulting drop in demand could "make a serious dent" on NAND flash industry's profits, according to the firm.



However, the firm did cite several reasons why any near-term danger to the NAND flash industry is likely to be low. Firstly, given that few users have achieved true perpetual connectivity, offline storage will remain important for access.

Cost is also expected to limit the move to the cloud. iCloud only comes with 5GB of free storage, plus unlimited storage of music purchased directly from the iTunes Store.

The iTunes Match feature, which costs $24.99 a year, allows users to store their entire music collection, including songs ripped from CDs and downloaded outside of iTunes, in the cloud. According to IHS, certain users would shy away from the annual fee, instead preferring to invest in more storage for their devices.

Most importantly, with high-profile hacking scandals that have dogged the likes of Sony and others still fresh in the mind of consumers, the idea of having personal data stored in a centralized location outside of their control may turn some users away.

Apple first announced iCloud on June 6, 2011, alongside iOS 5 and Mac OS X Lion. The service is scheduled to launch this fall.
post #2 of 50
iCloud is just another place to sync to, it's not a streaming service, so you still need the local storage.
post #3 of 50
On the other hand, flash-NAND using SSDs could strengthen market demand for NAND flash.
post #4 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Some industry players are concerned that Apple, the world's largest consumer of NAND flash memory, could cause demand for memory to dwindle with the introduction of its iCloud service.

Using a cloud for primary storage might work ok on a corporate intranet or from a fixed high-speed broadband link. But from an iPhone subject to the vagaries of the mobile network or a typically rubbish non-metropolitan Internet link you'd have to be mad to consider it. In any case, I like to keep my data where I can see it.

I surely hope that Apple doesn't go for this in a gung-ho fashion. I'd hate to be forced back onto Windows.
post #5 of 50
Okay, so first everyone's complaining that Apple is a monopsony when buying flash RAM, and now they are complaining that iCloud will reduce demand for flash RAM. \
post #6 of 50
This article is not worth the paper it is printed on.
post #7 of 50
The analysts are wrong. People are still going to store stuff locally, even when the "cloud" comes along. It's not like Apple is giving everybody terrabytes of free storage space where they can do what they want. And even if somebody does upload something to the "cloud", they'll still keep the originals on their local drives.

And, you can't just store whatever you want and upload it to iCloud. What about movies, videos, porn and stuff that really takes a lot of data? People will still have to store that kind of stuff locally.

As new iPhones, iPads, iPod touches and stuff like Macbook Airs get released, then these will be using plenty of flash memory. And as flash memory gets cheaper, then Apple will be putting more memory in their hardware. There are already reports of the Macbook Airs coming with 128 gb of flash. So to sum it up, this is just some analyst speculating and making shit up. The only difference between the analyst and any random person posting here is that they get paid for making shit up.
post #8 of 50
What fool would store all of his data in a cloud? Not me...this article ain't worth texting about.
post #9 of 50
I think what will happen when iCloud launches is that there will be a sudden 100-X-something boom in 3G traffic. It'll blow most people's data plans in no-time. People will notice this and be careful about using too much automatic iCloud syncing and stay old school with on board storage.
post #10 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

The analysts are wrong. People are still going to store stuff locally, even when the "cloud" comes along. It's not like Apple is giving everybody terrabytes of free storage space where they can do what they want. And even if somebody does upload something to the "cloud", they'll still keep the originals on their local drives.

These were my thoughts as well.

And this isn't even like Spotify or Amazon's locker service. You cannot stream your music. When the option to stream is not there, why would somebody buy a device with less storage space?

iCloud is going to be great for making the iOS devices PC-independant, for providing additional storage and for maybe becoming what MobileMe was supposed to become. I cannot think of any scenario that would lead to less demand in SSD storage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcoleman1 View Post

What fool would store all of his data in a cloud? Not me...this article ain't worth texting about.

Well, at least it was worth commenting about!
post #11 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Most importantly, with high-profile hacking scandals that have dogged the likes of Sony and others still fresh in the mind of consumers, the idea of having personal data stored in a centralized location outside of their control may turn some users away.

Thanks to whoever wrote this for mentioning this point. Too many kiddies forget about "minor" issues like this.

I'll trust my personal data to the cloud when... well, never. Multi-terabyte drives are cheap now, and getting cheaper.
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post #12 of 50
Excuse me whilst I brush this off as pointless rubbish. I doubt all NAND-Flash in the world will struggle because Apple decided to rebrand MobileMe (come on, we all know thats what it is). Its a sync service, local storage is still required. NAND wont suffer - especially if SSDs drop any further in price.

... at night.

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... at night.

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post #13 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

The analysts are wrong.

I believe they prefer to be called analrapists.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pz8aYiH_nRg
post #14 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

On the other hand, flash-NAND using SSDs could strengthen market demand for NAND flash.

I agree 100%. I see Apple using more not less NAND in the coming years.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #15 of 50
This doesn't make any sense. If anything iCloud will mean more flash on the client side and more spinning disks on the server side. This is especially true because iCloud syncs to flash memory. Some of these analysts are either blatantly trying to manipulate the market with false information or are totally incompetent. They at least say that there are no near term implications. Did they really need to suggest that Apple might someday completely rewrite iCloud so that it doesn't require local storage? Seems pretty far fetched.
post #16 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by palegolas View Post

I think what will happen when iCloud launches is that there will be a sudden 100-X-something boom in 3G traffic. It'll blow most people's data plans in no-time. People will notice this and be careful about using too much automatic iCloud syncing and stay old school with on board storage.

Except that iCloud only syncs automatically over Wifi. iCloud also isn't a replacement for flash storage or storing your data locally. It is syncing. You are storing your own data to all of your devices instead of just one. So you are sticking with "old school" local storage.
post #17 of 50
Use of local storage is increasing substantially, especially as the technology improves and decreases in price. A global financial collapse would changes things, but otherwise, no way.

However, the future is likely to be just the opposite due to pricing changes for data transmission. Now, our internet access is priced by bandwidth, unlike for cellular networks, which is priced by usage. When internet connectivity begins to be priced by usage, cloud access will no longer look so viable.
post #18 of 50
Maybe in 5 years, if they've introduced streaming and added video content to the cloud by then - and rolled the full service out to all major markets. But a big maybe.
post #19 of 50
iCloud does not remove the need for local storage, it merely acts as a depository and dispatcher of small bits of user data which does not include video, the biggest storage hog.

Also, Apple seems to be moving their consumer grade laptops to solid state storage, which could offset or even increase NAND memory consumption.
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #20 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

On the other hand, flash-NAND using SSDs could strengthen market demand for NAND flash.

I concur. I don't see NAND demand doing anything but increasing.
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post #21 of 50
Actually, I was pretty surprised that Jobs didn't announce streaming your own music collection. I thought for sure he was going to cap NAND memory at its current levels (or drop them slightly) and announce that iCloud streaming was the new way to listen to your music collection.

That may yet be in the cards; it may just be a licensing issue with th RIAA.
post #22 of 50
This article is bogus. How odd the author of an article on iCloud doesn't even know what iCloud is. iCloud is not a streaming service and won't decrease flash NAND consumption at all.

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post #23 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by cajun View Post

Actually, I was pretty surprised that Jobs didn't announce streaming your own music collection. I thought for sure he was going to cap NAND memory at its current levels (or drop them slightly) and announce that iCloud streaming was the new way to listen to your music collection.

That may yet be in the cards; it may just be a licensing issue with th RIAA.

He did mention it. iTunes Match was the one more thing and 10th feature of iCloud discussed.
http://www.apple.com/icloud/features/
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post #24 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by benanderson89 View Post

Excuse me whilst I brush this off as pointless rubbish. I doubt all NAND-Flash in the world will struggle because Apple decided to rebrand MobileMe (come on, we all know thats what it is). Its a sync service, local storage is still required. NAND wont suffer - especially if SSDs drop any further in price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

This article is not worth the paper it is printed on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

The analysts are wrong. People are still going to store stuff locally, even when the "cloud" comes along. It's not like Apple is giving everybody terrabytes of free storage space where they can do what they want. And even if somebody does upload something to the "cloud", they'll still keep the originals on their local drives.

And, you can't just store whatever you want and upload it to iCloud. What about movies, videos, porn and stuff that really takes a lot of data? People will still have to store that kind of stuff locally.

As new iPhones, iPads, iPod touches and stuff like Macbook Airs get released, then these will be using plenty of flash memory. And as flash memory gets cheaper, then Apple will be putting more memory in their hardware. There are already reports of the Macbook Airs coming with 128 gb of flash. So to sum it up, this is just some analyst speculating and making shit up. The only difference between the analyst and any random person posting here is that they get paid for making shit up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by esummers View Post

This doesn't make any sense. If anything iCloud will mean more flash on the client side and more spinning disks on the server side. This is especially true because iCloud syncs to flash memory. Some of these analysts are either blatantly trying to manipulate the market with false information or are totally incompetent. They at least say that there are no near term implications. Did they really need to suggest that Apple might someday completely rewrite iCloud so that it doesn't require local storage? Seems pretty far fetched.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

This article is bogus. How odd the author of an article on iCloud doesn't even know what iCloud is. iCloud is not a streaming service and won't decrease flash NAND consumption at all.

Agree with all these posts (and the others like them). Not to mention, this quote from the original article:

Quote:
IHS estimates that iCloud could theoretically decrease storage needs by as much as 100GB per user, based on a rough calculation of "a rate of 4MB per song at Apple's stated cap of 25,000 songs."

So we are getting the 128 GB iPhone in the fall? Is that what this is saying? Because then that leaves less than 30 GB for apps, data, video, photos, etc...
post #25 of 50
So, pushing your data to all your devices will weaken the demand for flash?
The opposite seems logical to me.
post #26 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

iCloud is just another place to sync to, it's not a streaming service, so you still need the local storage.

Plus 1
End of discussion
post #27 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

What about movies, videos, porn and stuff that really takes a lot of data? People will still have to store that kind of stuff locally.


iPorn?

Spankster?
post #28 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

iCloud is just another place to sync to, it's not a streaming service, so you still need the local storage.

Why can't I stream from iCloud?

Idisk streams.
post #29 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcoleman1 View Post

What fool would store all of his data in a cloud? Not me...this article ain't worth texting about.

Why not?

Do you mean that internet does not work?

Local storage is just waste. The "cloud" is where stuff should be.
Just force telephone companies to charge reasonable for data service.

And one day we can dump the telephone companies and just use VOIP, Apple messenger and other internet based technique.
post #30 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by shompa View Post

Local storage is just waste. The "cloud" is where stuff should be.

This is abject nonsense. Thousands of reasons to use local storage.

Quote:
Just force telephone companies to charge reasonable for data service.

Can't be done.

Quote:
And one day we can dump the telephone companies and just use VOIP, Apple messenger and other internet based technique.

Which is why it can't be done.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #31 of 50
Apple is not 'going to the cloud'. iCloud is, as has been pointed out, a means of synching and sharing content. If anything I'd say that memory will be in more demand as more content is stored locally on more devices.
post #32 of 50
The invention of the 'horseless carriage' caused a marked decline in the production of buggy whips.
post #33 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

The invention of the 'horseless carriage' caused a marked decline in the production of buggy whips.

Are you implying that Apple's iCloud will cause a marked decline in NAND?
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post #34 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

iCloud is just another place to sync to, it's not a streaming service, so you still need the local storage.

not only will you still need it, you'll need more since all of your documents can now be synced everywhere.
post #35 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Apple is not 'going to the cloud'. iCloud is, as has been pointed out, a means of synching and sharing content. If anything I'd say that memory will be in more demand as more content is stored locally on more devices.

I'm glad someone understands what iCloud is.

It should be noted that several of iCloud's features are just rebranded MobileMe with is rebranded .Mac which is rebranded iTools. We've been using "the cloud" for as long as we've been on the Internet and yet we still consume more and more local storage. This will not change. I fully expect the next iPhone to have a 64GB option and the next iPad to have a 128GB option.

BTW, despite having now owned 3 iPads all with 16GB and never using more than a couple GB at any one time I have now found myself using it for video quite often and hitting my capacity limit. Therefore I will be buying the largest capacity option when the iPad 3 arrives.
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post #36 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I'm glad someone understands what iCloud is.

I think Apple understands that with multiple device homes (or multiple device singe owners, for that matter) the challenge is to offer a non techy hands off way of managing both multiple devices and content. We have spent countless forum hours here discussing these things and for the average person its either an incomprehensible pain in the arse, or just too much of a pita to bother with. To offer an 'everyperson' hands off way of managing devices and content is huge winner imo, and a sure way to retain customers.

I still don't know how iCloud will handle family accounts, mutliple id's within family accounts, etc. Its a complicated issue - that much I know.
Quote:
It should be noted that several of iCloud's features are just rebranded MobileMe with is rebranded .Mac which is rebranded iTools. We've been using "the cloud" for as long as we've been on the Internet and yet we still consume more and more local storage. This will not change. I fully expect the next iPhone to have a 64GB option and the next iPad to have a 128GB option.

BTW, despite having now owned 3 iPads all with 16GB and never using more than a couple GB at any one time I have now found myself using it for video quite often and hitting my capacity limit. Therefore I will be buying the largest capacity option when the iPad 3 arrives.

You edit on your iPad? What do you shoot on, and how is the iPad iMovie? I haven't tried yet but no doubt will in the future. I use an Canon T1i for video and the files are big.
post #37 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

You edit on your iPad? What do you shoot on, and how is the iPad iMovie? I haven't tried yet but no doubt will in the future. I use an Canon T1i for video and the files are big.

Consumption, not creation. I also have moved to reading quite a bit on it, but that isn't taking up much storage.
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post #38 of 50
Here's what I've been hoping for, for a long time:

iCloud on your own server/disk. I would love to have full multi-device sync/backup abilities, but I'm just not going to put my personal data out on public servers. A few things wouldn't be that big a deal, like music, but I'm not putting family photos/videos, financial data, business contracts and documents, personal diary, etc. out in the cloud. Ever. And of course that stuff is all co-mingled with everything else, on multiple devices.

It has to be easy, and can't involve rolling my own entire solution from scratch. What I want is the equivalent of running my own iCalendar via private WebDAV server just by pointing my client at a local device rather than iCloud.

So I have two questions:

1) Anyone else onboard with this desire?

2) Does anyone have any clue if some portion of this might be possible? Not interested in pure speculation, so this may have to wait for a few days after introduction.
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post #39 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by esummers View Post

Except that iCloud only syncs automatically over Wifi. iCloud also isn't a replacement for flash storage or storing your data locally. It is syncing. You are storing your own data to all of your devices instead of just one. So you are sticking with "old school" local storage.

No cellular syncing? Oops, I missed that completely! So... iCloud is gonna be next to worthless after all? Just like FaceTime? What's going on?
post #40 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by palegolas View Post

No cellular syncing? Oops, I missed that completely! So... iCloud is gonna be next to worthless after all? Just like FaceTime? What's going on?

Thanks for blaming Apple for the carriers' inability to build good networks.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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