MEMORY MAKER Sandisk reported that demand for NAND flash storage is waning, just as Toshiba reportedly starts building another NAND memory chip fab.
Sandisk, which supplies a number of smartphone makers including Samsung, has revised down its sales estimate for the first quarter of 2012 citing weak demand for its NAND chips. This follows analyst claims that apart from Apple and Samsung, flash memory demand is waning.
Sandisk revised its first quarter revenue estimate down to $1.2bn, which is lower than the already lower-than-expected $1.3bn to $1.34bn range the firm forecast three months ago. Reuters reports that analysts had expected Sandisk's earnings to be $1.34bn.
While Sandisk warned of weaker demand, Toshiba is reportedly starting to build another NAND flash fab. The Nikkan Kogyo newspaper reported that the plant will start operations in 2013, though no other details were forthcoming.
Memory vendors such as Micron, Elpida and Nanya have been facing tough trading conditions, however it was expected that the trouble would be isolated to the DRAM memory business. Now Sandisk's forecast suggests that even the booming smartphone and tablet markets are not enough to keep demand above supply.
Sandisk will report its first quarter financials later this month. µ
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