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iPod nano refresh may cause NAND flash shortage

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Market research firm Gartner predicts there will be a shortage of NAND flash by the fourth quarter of the year, especially if Apple Computer unveils a flash-based iPod music player with 10-to-12 gigabytes of storage capacity.

Apple has yet to make any announcement about whether it will sell an iPod with more than 4GB of flash memory, but sources have said to expect a completely redesigned iPod nano in September.

"We're expecting a more severe shortage," Gartner analyst Joe Unsworth said in a phone interview with CBS Marketwatch. This should have positive implications for NAND flash suppliers such as Samsung, Toshiba, SanDisk, Micron and Intel, he said.

Gartner now forecasts a 5.8 percent shortage of NAND flash by the fourth quarter, up from its previous expectation of a 3 percent to 4 percent shortage.

The firm said digital music players, led by the iPod, will drive growth of the NAND flash market in the second half of this year.

Apple currently sells iPod nanos with either 1GB, 2GB or 4GB of NAND flash-based storage.
post #2 of 26
Didn't Apple make some sort of high dollar deal with the major NAND suppliers to assure them low cost and steady supply over the next five or ten years?? I know they had to pay some sort of outrageous amount of money up front as part of this condition. So does this mean that while others are paying high cost and having limited supply, that Apple will be flourishing? Hmmmm.
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post #3 of 26
Owned
post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by ReCompile
Didn't Apple make some sort of high dollar deal with the major NAND suppliers to assure them low cost and steady supply over the next five or ten years?? I know they had to pay some sort of outrageous amount of money up front as part of this condition. So does this mean that while others are paying high cost and having limited supply, that Apple will be flourishing? Hmmmm.

Exciting times!
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post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by ReCompile
Didn't Apple make some sort of high dollar deal with the major NAND suppliers to assure them low cost and steady supply over the next five or ten years?? I know they had to pay some sort of outrageous amount of money up front as part of this condition. So does this mean that while others are paying high cost and having limited supply, that Apple will be flourishing? Hmmmm.

Yes, for the next five, I believe. It wasn't an outragous amount. By paying a percentage up front, Apple was able to assure continued supply at low prices.
post #6 of 26
What the hell would a nano redesign even look like? Thiner? Colours again? I really don't see what they can change.

Maybe an ipod nano sized mini?
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post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by ecking
What the hell would a nano redesign even look like? Thiner? Colours again? I really don't see what they can change.

Maybe an ipod nano sized mini?

Duh. Capacity. That's about it. And that's what they're talking about in the article.
post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by tonton
Duh. Capacity. That's about it. And that's what they're talking about in the article.

Yeah but if you think about apple has never just upped capacity without a redesign.

And the article mentions a redesign, a memory increase aka a refresh and a redesign are not the same thing.

That said the free 2gb one I'm gonna get with my macbook will be enough for me anyways
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post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by tonton
Duh. Capacity. That's about it. And that's what they're talking about in the article.

Well ... do not underestimate the power of Ive!

When Steve Jobs said the MacBook Pro looked so similar to the PowerBook because it was the pretty much perfect design, my bullshit radar told me otherwise. Apple aren't about to set off into a static future churning out unchanging exteriors like the old VW Beetle. They had the chance to do that with the original Mac, which lasted a few years, and the retro iMac which did the same. Although both were design classics, both got old in the same way all high tech does, not to mention cars for anyone but the collector.

Now of course, the nano is a little newer. Not even a year old! But then iPod redesign ocurrs at an even faster pace as evidenced by history ... and last year's great success surely lends a lot of anticipation for another revolution this year. My own tip is to look out for an autumn special announcement like last year, simply because it worked so well and the media couldn't help lap it up all over again now they know what sort of big news to expect. TS and AI etc. reckon the "true video iPod" is due sooner than that, but I'd only think so if the iTMS also went movie crazy just in time for it. Otherwise it'd spoil the expected iPods' "shock of the new" for when it really matters - the festive quarter!

I myself was waiting for a decent flash player from Apple, but wasn't really anticipating it quite like ... oh Intel Macs say! But when the nano came out, instant want, need, buy!

Do that again, with all new material. I think Apple have it in them.
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by ecking
Yeah but if you think about apple has never just upped capacity without a redesign.

They sure have. For example, the 2G was originally 10 GB, then later 10 or 20. The 3G was originally 10, 15 or 30 GB, then 10, 20 or 40, then 15, 20 or 40.
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by ecking
What the hell would a nano redesign even look like? Thiner? Colours again? I really don't see what they can change.

Maybe an ipod nano sized mini?

The screen could be larger. They could shorten and widen the body. It will be pointless to go thinner because the dock cable end would be thicker than the device it connects, the same with the headphone cable
post #12 of 26
They can always go for a new mini-Dock-connector cable, akin mini-DVI or mini-VGA and whathaveyou, as well as a 1/16" headphone jack.

I hope they won't because that creates needless hassles, and the connectors are just the right size now.

But that doesn't mean it's impossible.

Shorter? Agreed. Wider? Nah. The nano isn't intended to have a big screen.
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by Chucker
Shorter? Agreed. Wider? Nah. The nano isn't intended to have a big screen.


I don't know about that... I wouldn't put it past Apple to come out with an iPod Nano Video, especially when it's likely to have 10GB+ of memory. The question would be whether Apple could do that as well as keep the Nano's price point.

But yeah, at a minimum, I think a shorter nano is in order.
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by Chucker
They can always go for a new mini-Dock-connector cable, akin mini-DVI or mini-VGA and whathaveyou, as well as a 1/16" headphone jack.

I hope they won't because that creates needless hassles, and the connectors are just the right size now.

But that doesn't mean it's impossible.

Shorter? Agreed. Wider? Nah. The nano isn't intended to have a big screen.

I suggested a little wider as the nano is very narrow for my hands and it would make the screen easier to read and photos a reasonable size. The current model's aspect ratio is very weird, if I put it in my pocket it almost always tips to the side, making it potentially more vulnerable.

There is no 1/16" headphone jack that I am aware of. There is a 3/32" / 2.5mm jack but there aren't any good headphones with that connector and adapters to go up to the standard minijack size is only asking for easy breakage.
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
There is no 1/16" headphone jack that I am aware of.

I made that up.

Quote:
There is a 3/32" / 2.5mm jack but there aren't any good headphones with that connector and adapters to go up to the standard minijack size is only asking for easy breakage.

Yes, I agree.
post #16 of 26
I don't think we will see any major changes to the form factors of the shuffle, nano or video for quite a while.

What I do believe we will see is advances in the materials used, such as the black back on the new U2 ipod. There are physical limitations on size imposed by the size of the connectors, these could be overcome by going wireless. Imagine a future iPod that has NO ports and is completely sealed.

While the form factor of the shuffle, nano and video won't be changing, that doesn't mean we won't see an entirely new form factor for a new product line...iPod Cinema. The iPod video will remain the iPod for those more interested in music than video or other features.
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by Johnny Mozzarella
There are physical limitations on size imposed by the size of the connectors, these could be overcome by going wireles. Imagine a future iPod that has NO ports and is completely sealed.

Yes, I can imagine an iPod that can't be charged.

In all seriousness, the main benefit I see for wireless iPod is to get away from headphone cord entaglement. As it takes longer to charge than it does to dock, I don't see the point in wirelessly syncing.
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
Yes, I can imagine an iPod that can't be charged.

In all seriousness, the main benefit I see for wireless iPod is to get away from headphone cord entaglement. As it takes longer to charge than it does to dock, I don't see the point in wirelessly syncing.


Hey, I've got an electric toothbrush that is charged wirelessly - that is, there are no metal connections between the brush and the cradle - everything is plastic and waterproof. So it is technically feasible to have an iPod that is portless and completely sealed without losing ANY functionality.

I don't think anyone is saying that going totally cordless and portless will be of much practical use, unless you feel like taking your iPod swimming or something. I think an iPod without any jacks or buttons (save the click wheel) would be a great step forward in the "cool" factor that drives iPod sales.

Johnny - I think you've got something with your iPod Cinema idea. It does seem to be about time Apple expanded the product line again.
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
Yes, I can imagine an iPod that can't be charged.

In all seriousness, the main benefit I see for wireless iPod is to get away from headphone cord entaglement. As it takes longer to charge than it does to dock, I don't see the point in wirelessly syncing.

How do you recharge a cordless phone?
There doesn't need to be a physical port/plug in order to charge a device.
Maybe the iPod connector of the future will use magnets to attach just like the MagSafe connectors on MacBooks.
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by ecking
Yeah but if you think about apple has never just upped capacity without a redesign.

And the article mentions a redesign, a memory increase aka a refresh and a redesign are not the same thing.

That said the free 2gb one I'm gonna get with my macbook will be enough for me anyways

No scratches?
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by Johnny Mozzarella
How do you recharge a cordless phone?
There doesn't need to be a physical port/plug in order to charge a device.
Maybe the iPod connector of the future will use magnets to attach just like the MagSafe connectors on MacBooks.

My Sonicare electric toothbrush uses current sensing. It sits in the charging stand, but doesn't need the connection. There are a number of devices that work that way.

But you need a real connection to hook to the computer, unless it uses WiFi or Bluetooth.
post #22 of 26
Wow I swear to god we all have the same goddamn toothbrush...
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post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
My Sonicare electric toothbrush uses current sensing. It sits in the charging stand, but doesn't need the connection. There are a number of devices that work that way.

But you need a real connection to hook to the computer, unless it uses WiFi or Bluetooth.

Actually, it sounds like the current is actually passing through the casing of the toothbrush. Doesn't sound like a good arrangment for solid state electronics.
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by ecking
Wow I swear to god we all have the same goddamn toothbrush...

Sonicare rules!
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post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by ecking
Wow I swear to god we all have the same goddamn toothbrush...

The only one baby!
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by tonton
Actually, it sounds like the current is actually passing through the casing of the toothbrush. Doesn't sound like a good arrangment for solid state electronics.

It depends on whether the device is designed for it. It's not really a problem. Several companies came out with flat devices a few yearts ago that would do that for your iPod, Palm, or other small device. You would get a small attachment to plug into the power socket of your device, that was made for it, and put the item on the flat plastic top. You could recharge as many devices as would fit on the top.

They didn't sell because they were kind of clumsy and expensive. but they did work.
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