FRUIT-THEMED TOYMAKER Apple appears to be causing shortages in the NAND market in Asia.
Apparently if it is NAND it is being snapped up and bunged into the latest Ithings to hit the streets.
Digitimes has reported that major NAND flash chip producers are allocating more supplies for Apple and that Taiwanese memory module houses are therefore seeing a serious shortage of flash memory chips.
Samsung has told Taiwan module makers that it will halve its NAND flash supply to them in September.
Micron has also told some of its downstream customers that no NAND flash chips are presently available.
Toshiba and Hynix Semiconductor are also giving priority to Apple, and are offering limited supplies on the spot market.
Apple is ramping up production because it expects to start flogging huge numbers of Iphones and Ipods to the Chinese around Christmas. Apple seems to think that Chinese workers have their mattresses stuffed full of cash or are willing to give up their houses to buy its gadgets.
Apple has not done particularly well in Russia because it consistantly fails to understand how a country that is 'developed' pays its workers wages that would almost buy a coffee at Starbucks.
However as a result of Apple's demands the average spot price of 16Gb multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash chips rose 0.85 per cent to close at $5.17 on September 11 and the 32Gb part was up 0.50 per cent to $7.13, according to DRAMexchange.
In the contract market, average pricing for 16Gb chips climbed 7.2 per cent to $4.48 in the first half of September, and 32Gb went up 4.3 per cent to $6.80.
It is not clear at this point what the knock-on effect of this shortage of NAND flash memory chips will be.
At the moment NAND flash chipmakers haven't got capacity to increase production so this means that the prices of other NAND flash based products could rise.
It could also mean that Apple might end up squeezing some of its rivals out because other MP3 producers can't get enough hardware and will have to increase their prices.
Fortunately it is unlikely that NAND flash makers will let this situation last for much longer and will step up production. Of course if Apple's Christmas marketing push in China fails then there might be a lot of NAND flash supply suddenly coming available. µ
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