Apple NAND flash memory orders on the rise

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
With Apple increasing the amount NAND flash ordered from its suppliers, other customers of Hynix Semiconductors and Samsung Electronics are seeing growing difficulties in securing sufficient stock, reports DigiTimes.



Citing sources at Taiwan memory houses, the Taiwanese rumor publication said that both Hynix and Samsung began reserving more of their stock for Apple starting in July, resulting in a strain on supply of the solid-state memory chips to other customers.



"Both Hynix and Samsung had informed their customers in late June that supply in July will be constrained, citing the fact that Apple is about to pre-stock NAND flash to meet the coming seasonal upturn," the publication said.



Historically, Apple has used the summer months of July and August to stockpile components such as NAND flash and hard disk drives for new products that follow in autumn. For instance, the Cupertino-based consumer electronics maker has introduced a new version of its top-selling iPod nano during the September timeframe for the past two years, both of which employed NAND flash.



This year is expected to be no different for Apple, which in addition to new flash-based iPods, is also assumed to be working on a flash-enabled thin notebook and a lower-cost version of its iPhone handset -- both of which could hit the market prior to this year's holiday shopping season.



Though able to land more NAND flash stock from the chipmakers than second-tier players, first-tier memory module houses -- including A-Data Technology, Kingston Technology, Transcend Information and Power Quotient International (PQI) -- are finding supply insufficient as result of Apple's heightened flash needs, DigiTimes said.



Some second-tier players, according to the publication's sources, may even be seeing "no availability of stock."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    It's about time!
  • Reply 2 of 15
    porchlandporchland Posts: 478member
    Sounds like the September quarter iPods have been released for production!



    I'm hoping for:



    * widescreen iPods, 80GB ($349) and 40GB ($249),

    * bumped up nanos in new colors and Nike+ onboard, 16GB ($249) and 8GB ($149), and

    * a shuffle, 2GB ($79) that can handle multiple playlists.
  • Reply 3 of 15
    zandroszandros Posts: 537member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Porchland View Post


    Sounds like the September quarter iPods have been released for production!



    I'm hoping for:



    * widescreen iPods, 80GB ($349) and 40GB ($249),

    * bumped up nanos in new colors and Nike+ onboard, 16GB ($249) and 8GB ($149), and

    * a shuffle, 2GB ($79) that can handle multiple playlists.



    I want Bluetooth file transfer between iPods as well as A2DP. Draws less power than WiFi.



    /Adrian
  • Reply 4 of 15
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,597member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Porchland View Post


    Sounds like the September quarter iPods have been released for production!



    I'm hoping for:



    * widescreen iPods, 80GB ($349) and 40GB ($249),

    * bumped up nanos in new colors and Nike+ onboard, 16GB ($249) and 8GB ($149), and

    * a shuffle, 2GB ($79) that can handle multiple playlists.



    AND all with iPhone Multi-Touch interface and w-fi and OS X apps right ?
  • Reply 5 of 15
    messiahmessiah Posts: 1,689member
    What's the definition of first tier and second tier?
  • Reply 6 of 15
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    AND all with iPhone Multi-Touch interface and w-fi and OS X apps right ?



    And don't forget a girl that gives you a foot massage every time you play a song!
  • Reply 7 of 15
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by .:R2theT View Post


    And don't forget a girl that gives you a foot massage every time you play a song!



    ONLY ONE!!!



    if that happens I won't be buying one and Appl wil be teh doomed!!1!!



    {cant you just hear it}
  • Reply 8 of 15
    uhhh.... Does Apple really order THAT much Flash memory? ...enough to be the sole cause of shortages to all other distributees?



    I'm doubtful.



    Does anyone have numbers on this?



    -Clive
  • Reply 9 of 15
    macheimachei Posts: 83member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by .:R2theT View Post


    And don't forget a girl that gives you a foot massage every time you play a song!



    That'll be the $249 version. The $599 version will get you a girl that...



    ...nevermind.
  • Reply 10 of 15
    tmedia1tmedia1 Posts: 104member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post


    uhhh.... Does Apple really order THAT much Flash memory? ...enough to be the sole cause of shortages to all other distributees?



    I'm doubtful.



    Does anyone have numbers on this?



    -Clive



    I'm inclined to agree. I know Apple sells a lot of iPods, but this just sounds like an artificial attempt to jack up prices in a commodity market that been on thin margins.
  • Reply 11 of 15
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,698member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Zandros View Post


    I want Bluetooth file transfer between iPods



    Why? Do you know how long it would take to transfer even just one song?
  • Reply 12 of 15
    zandroszandros Posts: 537member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    Why? Do you know how long it would take to transfer even just one song?



    Perfectly aware. I do this between phones all the time. It's not a great way to share entire albums, but it works great for single songs.



    /Adrian
  • Reply 13 of 15
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,562member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post


    uhhh.... Does Apple really order THAT much Flash memory? ...enough to be the sole cause of shortages to all other distributees?



    I'm doubtful.



    Does anyone have numbers on this?



    -Clive



    The NAND market has always had tight supply given fairly low margins-- that's why Apple had to pre-order several years stock to ensure adequate stock. Apple sells close to twice the number of iPods over Christmas as any other quarter, so it seems reasonable that they would look to spread the extra orders over two quarters and not go just-in-time for it. The supply shortages of the microdrives constrained early iPod sales, and Apple has learned from that mistake.



    While I can't imagine Apple consumes more than 10% of the market, going from 10->12.5% could have a pretty significant impact. The other market driver could be hybrid flash/magnetic hard drives that are slowly showing up, or pure flash drives. Just guessing at numbers, but a 32GB flash drive selling 500k units could have a similar impact on excess capacity.
  • Reply 14 of 15
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Everyone is using the older flash still for both SSDs and iPods even though production on the new flash is finally here. Expect Apple to transition soon and supply to loosen a bit. Samsung is hopefully making a good amount of 2Gb 60nm flash that isn't in iPods, iPhones or their own SSDs which use the 1Gb 70nm flash first released in 2006 and used in the Nano. Toshiba/SanDisk should also be pushing out 2Gb flash on a 56nm process that no one is shipping in products yet.



    There was an oversupply in 2006 and early 2007 leading to freefalling NAND pricing. Toshiba wasn't going to go 56nm until the iPhone was announced and then decided to go, if not whole hog, pretty deep in trying to get NAND pricing down to the point where SSDs become more common. With two producers of 2Gb NAND supply constraints are going to ease IMHO by fall...oh about the time we can expect a new rev of the Nano.



    So I'm going to guess that between the Nano on BTS giveaway and the 2Gb Samsung flash production going somewhere other than the market that new Nanos are going to appear around Octoberish or about 3 months after mass production occured. Just like in 2006 with the 1 Gb flash.



    I don't know if Samsung converted any 1Gb fabs to the new process but I doubt it. Toshiba, from their press comments, I think just opened a new one. Which means more capacity overall and no drop in current 1 Gb flash production. No increase either and given the iPhone and SSD sales I can see how things are a bit tight in July-September/October.



    Vinea
  • Reply 15 of 15
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Porchland View Post


    Sounds like the September quarter iPods have been released for production!

    I'm hoping for:

    1, * widescreen iPods, 80GB ($349) and 40GB ($249),

    2. * bumped up nanos in new colors and Nike+ onboard, 16GB ($249) and 8GB ($149), and

    3. * a shuffle, 2GB ($79) that can handle multiple playlists.



    Widescreen Touch iPods : should be out by November, I reckon...





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    AND all with iPhone Multi-Touch interface and w-fi and OS X apps right ?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by .:R2theT View Post


    And don't forget a girl that gives you a foot massage every time you play a song!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by machei View Post


    That'll be the $249 version. The $599 version will get you a girl that...

    ...nevermind.



    Ha Ha Nice.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Walter Slocombe View Post


    ONLY ONE!!!

    if that happens I won't be buying one and Appl wil be teh doomed!!1!!

    {cant you just hear it}



    Totally, I can hear it now...
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