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Supply chain expects Apple's Sept launch of iPhone 5 to boost memory prices

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Indications from inside the flash memory supply chain in the Far East reportedly point toward a September launch of Apple's next-generation iPhone.

The latest weekly report on NAND flash memory prices from market watcher inSpectrum, as relayed by DigiTimes, states that Apple's so-called "iPhone 5" will become available in September. The launch of a new iPhone is expected by local traders in the memory market to boost prices of NAND flash.

Prices of flash memory are said to have stabilized recently, though some China-based device makers are reportedly stockpiling inventory in anticipation of a coming price reversal. As of Friday, the spot price for MLC NAND flash in the open market was $3.49 for 32Gb and $6.43 for 64Gb.

Friday's report from the supply chain can be chalked up as another vote for a September launch for Apple's next iPhone. Rumors surrounding this year's later-than-usual debut of a next-generation handset have been divided between September and October.

Further support of a potential September launch also came on Friday, with a separate rumor indicating Apple may hold a media event on September 7. Typically, Apple has made its next-generation iPhone available for sale in the U.S. a few weeks after it is officially announced, and an early September unveiling could signal a product launch in the same month.

Those rumors stand in contrast to a report from John Paczkowski of All Things D earlier this month, which suggested that Apple's fifth-generation iPhone will arrive in the month of October. More specifically, it was said that the new smartphone is expected to become available later in the month.



But investment firm RBC Capital Markets has stood by its prediction of a September launch, citing identifiable market trends and "build data" from Apple's overseas suppliers. Sources from the Far East reportedly indicated that Apple will ramp up production of its fifth-generation iPhone this month and next, placing it on track for a September launch.

Regardless of the final launch date, reports of Apple's next iPhone have accelerated in recent weeks, making it clear that the supply chain is gearing up for the debut of a next-generation handset. A number of cases from third-party manufacturers have proliferated in China, suggesting the device will sport curved sides with a flat back.

Other rumors have suggested that the iPhone 5 will be a "world" phone with support for both GSM and CDMA networks on the same Qualcomm chip. The device is expected to feature the dual-core A5 processor already at use in the iPad 2, as well as a higher resolution 8 megapixel camera.
post #2 of 9
Hmm, the only way that the iPhone-5 could seriously impact Flash prices is if it's going to be 64GB. Shiny.
post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

As of Friday, the spot price for MLC NAND flash in the open market was $3.49 for 32GB and $6.43 for 64GB.

Err no:
Those are prices for gigabits, or Gb, and so are understated by a factor of 8.

See http://www.dramexchange.com/ for spot memory prices.
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Prices of flash memory are said to have stabilized recently, though some China-based device makers are reportedly stockpiling inventory in anticipation of a coming price reversal. As of Friday, the spot price for MLC NAND flash in the open market was $3.49 for 32GB and $6.43 for 64GB.

Despite the $2.94 it will cost Apple to put 64GB into a phone vs 32GB, you'll still be asked to pay $100. Nice profit margin.
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by richwiss View Post

Despite the $2.94 it will cost Apple to put 64GB into a phone vs 32GB, you'll still be asked to pay $100. Nice profit margin.

It takes impressive daftness to post this immediately AFTER the post that demonstrates the error. Congratulations.
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilM View Post

Err no:
Those are prices for gigabits, or Gb, and so are understated by a factor of 8.

See http://www.dramexchange.com/ for spot memory prices.

Furthermore, Apple is not paying spot prices. Spot prices tend to fluctuate and Apple wants a guaranteed supply and price. Spot prices can be either below or above contract prices, depending on the market. If the market is very slow and there's a glut of capacity, spot prices can fall below contract prices. If the product is in demand, spot prices can be significantly higher than contract prices.

Of course, given Apple's purchasing volume and willingness to prepay in order to lock in supply and price, I would expect that Apple's contract price as very low, so spot prices almost certainly won't be much below Apple's contract price - even with a huge glut of excess capacity. When demand picks up, spot prices will certainly be far above Apple's contract price - putting all the 'apple killers' at an additional disadvantage.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Further support of a potential September launch also came on Friday, with a separate rumor indicating Apple may hold a media event on September 7. Typically, Apple has made its next-generation iPhone available for sale in the U.S. a few weeks after it is officially announced, and an early September unveiling could signal a product launch in the same month.

How so? A few weeks after launch could just as easily mean an October launch since October is a few weeks away. Seems to me the September 7 rumor is a complete wash and provides no support either way whether the device would go on sale in Sept or October. I don't know why Apple Insider interprets that rumor as favoring September. At most, the Sept 7 rumor keeps alive the possibility of a September launch but it doesn't "support" it.

Honestly, I'd go with All Things Digital/WSJ over analyst/rumor site reports any day. It's clear ATD/WSJ sources are Apple management.
post #8 of 9
Actually, Cnet has a fairly decent track record, too. My guess is that ATD/WSJ and Cnet are being fed credible rumors by Apple management.

The analysts' speculations are relevant, but it a completely twisted way. Their track record is so atrocious that whatever an analyst speculations should be a strong indication of something that will not happen. If Shaw Wu, Gene Munster, or Katy Huberty says that something will happen, the safe bet is that it won't happen.
post #9 of 9
My 32GB iPhone 4 seems like a near perfect phone. 8MP camera is not enough for me to perform my annual upgrade, but 64GB might just be the ticket.

I agree that memory price boosts will not affect Apple, who has undoubtedly locked in a price.
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