High prices make Apple reluctant to strike longterm NAND flash deals

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Apple, which takes up the the lion's share of global NAND flash memory supply, has been reluctant to negotiate with suppliers in 2010 due to high prices.



According to DigiTimes, though demand for NAND memory in devices such as memory cards and flash drives has been soft, it has not significantly pushed down chip prices. Major chip suppliers like Samsung have given priority to profitable partnerships over shipment volume, which doesn't work to the advantage of major buyers like Apple.



In addition to slower demand, the situation has become even more volatile because tight foundry capacity is expected to disrupt shipments and have an effect on NAND flash pricing, industry sources reportedly said.



"Some NAND flash controller suppliers," the report said, "have indicated that their supply may not be able to satisfy customer demand in the second quarter if their foundry partners continue to see tight capacity, the sources said. This supply disruption is likely to impact NAND flash prices for the quarter."



Industry sources expect the situation to improve in the second quarter of 2010, when they believe Apple may start negotiating long-term supply contracts for NAND flash. The report noted that Apple's consumption of flash memory will "continue to play a significant role" in the industry this year.



Earlier this month, another report alleged that success for Apple's forthcoming iPad tablet computer could increase prices of solid state drives. Apple consumes nearly one-third of total NAND flash memory supplies, and its share is expected to grow even more with the launch of the iPad on April 3.



It was noted multiple times in 2009 that Apple had created a flash shortage, with its iPod and iPhone line of products consuming the largest share of NAND flash. Industry sources expect the price of NAND flash to continue to rise in 2010.



In addition to most of the iPod lineup and the iPhone, in early 2008, Apple embraced the solid state drive by offering it as an option in its MacBook Air, with a premium price.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Advantage for Apple to wait. Wouldn't lock in long term deals yet.
  • Reply 2 of 40
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post


    Advantage for Apple to wait. Wouldn't lock in long term deals yet.



    And with billions in the bank Apple can afford to mildly suggest it might briefly consider the vague possibilities of buying a fab and maybe someday build some NANDs for themselves making some NAND maker stocks tank as perceived future demand plummet...



    A game Google plays very well. We MIGHT buy this spectrum here...but all we really want is net neutrality on all spectrum. You guys really should consider what might happen if we're FORCED into competing with you guys since...well...we really don't need to profit in that market segment...
  • Reply 3 of 40
    iluviluv Posts: 123member
    Apple should buy up all the NAND output in the world, and then cancel the orders at the last minute and scoop up all the surplus at fire sale prices.
  • Reply 4 of 40
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,073member
    Screw NAND. I want a 500GB iPad!
  • Reply 5 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iLuv View Post


    Apple should buy up all the NAND output in the world, and then cancel the orders at the last minute and scoop up all the surplus at fire sale prices.



    This is a good idea!
  • Reply 6 of 40
    molochmoloch Posts: 46member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post


    Screw NAND. I want a 500GB iPad!



    I've had flash go bad on me more than once. If you plug a flash inside a flash drive adapter into an low quality USB port it can ruin the card. I suspect that's what happened to me.
  • Reply 7 of 40
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post


    Screw NAND. I want a 500GB iPad!



    I think that would almost double the thickness and add weight for the drive and more batteries too. Flash chips are a millimeter thick and can fit on the same circuit board as every other chip. Standard Notebook hard drives are about 10mm thick (I don't think 500GB drives are in 7.5 thickness yet), then you want an extra millimeter above and below for extra shock absorption margin.
  • Reply 8 of 40
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post


    Screw NAND. I want a 500GB iPad!



    err........ what do you think that will make your 500GB iPad a 500GB iPad? NAND also used in iPhone, iPod Touch and in SSD's.
  • Reply 9 of 40
    msnlymsnly Posts: 378member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post


    Screw NAND. I want a 500GB iPad!



    My 17" MBP doesn't even have a 500GB drive
  • Reply 10 of 40
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iLuv View Post


    Apple should buy up all the NAND output in the world, and then cancel the orders at the last minute and scoop up all the surplus at fire sale prices.



    If they did that, Jobs, Cook, and a few other would probably wind up sitting in a Federal prison.
  • Reply 11 of 40
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MsNly View Post


    My 17" MBP doesn't even have a 500GB drive



    same here. In the 2.5" SSD 256GB seems the highest storage capacity. Would like to see SL support TRIM commands.



    Came across this, but I haven't seen any

    http://news.thomasnet.com/fullstory/538058
  • Reply 12 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post


    Screw NAND. I want a 500GB iPad!



    And they could call it "iPad Classic"



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinea View Post


    And with billions in the bank Apple can afford to mildly suggest it might briefly consider the vague possibilities of buying a fab and maybe someday build some NANDs for themselves making some NAND maker stocks tank as perceived future demand plummet...



    Well, they already own PA Semi, and since fabbing a CPU is relatively similar to fabbing a flash memory chip, it wouldn't entirely be out of the realm of possibility...



    -Clive
  • Reply 13 of 40
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post


    Well, they already own PA Semi, and since fabbing a CPU is relatively similar to fabbing a flash memory chip, it wouldn't entirely be out of the realm of possibility...

    -Clive



    PA Semi designed chips, manufacturing was farmed out.



    "Apple has purchased the fabless chip design company P.A. Semi, for a rumoured $278 million. This alone is interesting, but what is doubly interesting is the fact that P.A. Semi designed the dual-core 64-bit PowerPC CPU that some had thought Apple could have used for a new Mac laptop (although Apple had already announced the switch to Intel)."



    source: http://everythingapple.blogspot.com/...ompany-pa.html



    Samsung suppose to be in the process of completing another fab facility. With the world economy as it is, may be a slow down in fab facilities being started.
  • Reply 14 of 40
    iluviluv Posts: 123member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post


    If they did that, Jobs, Cook, and a few other would probably wind up sitting in a Federal prison.



    No way. If they own it, they can do whtaever they want with it.
  • Reply 15 of 40
    woohoo!woohoo! Posts: 291member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post


    Screw NAND. I want a 500GB iPad!





    Make mine 2TB, I know how storage needs grow over time.





    4 years ago 160GB was enough, 3 years ago 320GB was enough, 2 years ago 500GB was enough



    now I'm looking to get 1TB drive, so next year I'll need 2TB and the year after that 4TB...



    And I don't even store a lot of video, pictures, music and other operating systems mostly.





    And all Apple can provide is a measly 64GB iPad with slow ass USB2? You know there is premature product obsolescence built in right just looking at the storage.





    The problem Apple is having is their suppliers are price fixing.







    Dell is suing 5 LCD makers in Asia right now because of price fixing.



    http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/...-price-fixing/









    Apple also can't gain the advantages of economies of scale because the PC side isn't receptive to SSD because it would price their products out of reach. So they stick with the cheaper hard drives.



    Apple is being the sucker and taking us consumers for a ride trying to increase demand of SSD for the rest of the industry.



    SanDisk has SDXC capability of up to 2TB already and has just started selling 64GB SD cards for $350 each. Hopefully competition and increased demand will bring the price down.



    http://www.sandisk.com/products/dslr...tra-sdxc-cards





    When hard drives reach their storage limit, hopefully that will provoke increased PC demand for SSD and lower prices.
  • Reply 16 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post


    PA Semi designed chips, manufacturing was farmed out.



    I didn't imply otherwise. I was providing more of a reason Apple might buy a fab.



    Dual-purpose.



    -Clive
  • Reply 17 of 40
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Woohoo! View Post


    SanDisk has SDXC capability of up to 2TB already and has just started selling 64GB SD cards for $350 each. Hopefully competition and increased demand will bring the price down.



    http://www.sandisk.com/products/dslr...tra-sdxc-cards



    Keep in mind that no one has a 2TB capability in any portable form, probably not even in a 2.5" style SSD. 2TB in one little postage stamp is probably five or so years away. 2TB is only the upper limit of the SDXC standard, the same way that SDHC's upper limit was 32GB but it took several years to get to it.
  • Reply 18 of 40
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iLuv View Post


    No way. If they own it, they can do whtaever they want with it.



    They would own the chips not the companies. If nothing else they would be faced with a big lawsuit for breach of contract. The feds would go after them for price fixing or trying to manipulate the market.
  • Reply 19 of 40
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post


    I didn't imply otherwise. I was providing more of a reason Apple might buy a fab.



    Dual-purpose.



    -Clive



    Re-read the post and it appears that you are right.



    I do not know if it would be wise for Apple to go that route--a lot of strong manufacturers who could make it very competitive. As with RAM, NAND prices can become very volatile when the rest of the fabs under construction come on-line. Apple should concentrate what they do best--other than the PA Semiconductor purchase, they should not get into manufacturing chips. With PAS then can design their own chips and then license the production of the chips to Samsung or Toshiba or the like--but watch those patents.
  • Reply 20 of 40
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Apple have been stuck in sub 64gb land for years for their portable devices and there is still nothing in sight that I am aware of that will get them out of this rut, anytime soon. The prices have hardly dropped either.



    I want an ipod Touch with 128 gb+. I don't care if it is thick, or heavy due to a large battery.



    Nand is a promise that doesn't look like being fulfilled.
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