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Beancounters fret about Apple’s memory supply

IHS thinks that Samsung has the edge
Fri Sep 06 2013, 15:20
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THE CLICKING SOUND OF THE ABACUS has delivered the news that analysts IHS are concerned about Apple's prospects without Samsung as a memory supplier.

"Apple Faces Thorny Memory Future as a Non-Samsung Customer" is the headline, and underneath we learn that the analysts are worried about the fruit themed firm's future as a competitor to a company that eats its own dogfood.

IHS said that not working with Samsung will be a challenge for Apple, and added that there are few chip provider alternatives.

"While the argument can be made that Apple sees some benefits by not sharing critical prototype design information with Samsung, the fact remains that Apple limits its options by not doing business with Samsung, which places Apple at a disadvantage," said IHS DRAM and memory senior principal analyst Mike Howard.

"The difficulties presented by this challenge become even more acute considering that the memory industry continues to consolidate, especially in DRAM. The recent closing of Micron's acquisition of bankrupt Elpida means there are now just three major DRAM developers and four NAND developers left. As Apple's memory suppliers get bigger because of consolidation, they are likely to gain more bargaining leverage. This is a trend all memory buyers will face, and Apple - even with its heft - is not exempt."

Apple has three options, according to the report, and they are own development, partnership or acquisition. IHS said that Samsung is unlikely to be a target for Apple should it take the third option.

Toshiba and Sandisk are deemed likely targets, along with the South Korean memory firm SK Hynix. µ


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