Apple Announces Long-Term Flash Memory Agreements

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
7,429
8,491


Apple announced today that it has reached long term supply agreements with a number of memory supply companies including Hynix, Intel, Micro, Samsung Electronics and Toshiba.

Apple will prepay up to $1.25 billion for flash memory over the next three months. The agreements secure a supply of NAND flash memory through 2010.

"We want to be able to produce as many of our wildly popular iPods as the market demands," said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO.
Apple now uses Flash memory in two of the iPod models: the iPod shuffle and the iPod nano. Recent reports have hinted that Apple was seeking out more suppliers for the needed Flash memory components for their shuffle/nano iPod products. The traditional 5th Generation Video-capable iPod still uses a hard drive for storage.
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
Thats good news!

Going with different flash suppliers to prevent any anti-trust issues from cropping up in the future.

Can't wait for the iPod invisio!


edit: I beat iGary!!!!11!
 

alywa

macrumors 6502
May 6, 2004
350
0
Not just iPod

I have to think that laptops / desktops are the bigger reason for this huge flash investment. Instant boot, solid-state built-in backup, yeah that would be sweet. Just imagine how useful this could be.

-alywa
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
57
iGary said:
The strange things you have to do to get a slice of the production at a decent price these days.

Big chunk of money today, but it should get Apple out of any future problems like their recent Samsung Flash Memory legal problems.

Hopefully handling it as a PrePay will keep the lawsuits at bay, unlike the old R&D investment deals.

Sure the price will be lower than market in the future, but in reality Apple has already pre-paid a portion of their future supply.

Also helps out the companies by giving them some money today to make use of for R&D.

Edit: Of course they will probably sue anyways, especially if Apple continues to secure flash memory at a price much lower than most other MP3 makers.
 

andiwm2003

macrumors 601
Mar 29, 2004
4,325
379
Boston, MA
flash based ibooks and powerbooks here we come. they a certainly planning only ipod stuff till 2010. this is bigger than that!:)
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,551
1,186
sushi said:
By then we may see laptops using flash memory as part of their storage capability.
I'm waiting for just that :) With any luck, I'll only buy one more HD laptop!

A flash-based sub-subnotebook would be great. I'd accept reduced storage and other compromises. Just put OS X in my pocket! I'll plug into any old keyboard and display when I get to my destination.
 

camomac

macrumors 6502a
Jan 26, 2005
764
169
Left Coast
maybe this will also mean that they are seriously considering a new shuttle design to go with all that memory... :)
 

shadowmoses

macrumors 68000
Mar 6, 2005
1,821
0
This means Apple have big Plans for flash memory, I am sure we will see it in high end intel mac's imagine how sweet it would be to have a powerbook with a 4gb Flash boot drive,

SHadow
 

dernhelm

macrumors 68000
May 20, 2002
1,634
104
middle earth
andiwm2003 said:
flash based ibooks and powerbooks here we come. they a certainly planning only ipod stuff till 2010. this is bigger than that!:)
A full-flash based laptop would absolutely ROCK! Get startup times down to microseconds (wake from sleep is pretty close now, my PB wakes in just a little over a second) and you've got an APPLIANCE not just a COMPUTER.
 

AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
18,085
4,144
The Peninsula
bandwidth?

dernhelm said:
A full-flash based laptop would absolutely ROCK! Get startup times down to microseconds (wake from sleep is pretty close now, my PB wakes in just a little over a second) and you've got an APPLIANCE not just a COMPUTER.
Flash has a hard time keeping up with spinning drives in the MB/sec race.

You won't get usec wakeups just from switching to flash.

You'll get much better battery life, however!
 

GetSome681

macrumors regular
Feb 2, 2002
123
0
It's amazing how many of you have no idea what you're talking about.

Flash memory, in its current form, will never be used to replace hard drives or RAM. The current forms of flash memory all have a finite lifespan dictated by a certain number of writes/rewrites. Think of how many times files are altered in any way on your hard drive or how many times the contents of your system memory change. This has nothing to do with some magical implementation in powerbooks/etc.

For your viewing pleasure:
http://www.commsdesign.com/design_corner/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=16502199
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
iGary said:
Apple's got a bazillion dolars of cash in hand. I'm sure the prices are heavily discounted, and all the accountants have done their Present Value calculations to make sure Apple's rate of return on the money will be well in excess of what they can make investing it.

Sounds like a smart move, tie up their supply, make it harder for competitors buying on the sport market, be able to develop future product with assured component availability..
 

iGary

Guest
May 26, 2004
19,583
0
Randy's House
CanadaRAM said:
Apple's got a bazillion dolars of cash in hand. I'm sure the prices are heavily discounted, and all the accountants have done their Present Value calculations to make sure Apple's rate of return on the money will be well in excess of what they can make investing it.

Sounds like a smart move, tie up their supply, make it harder for competitors buying on the sport market, be able to develop future product with assured component availability..
Yeah I know, but that just goes to show you how important keeping their supply chain filled is. That's almost 25% of their on hand cash.
 

syklee26

macrumors 6502
Jul 26, 2005
393
272
you are missing a possibility

GetSome681 said:
It's amazing how many of you have no idea what you're talking about.

Flash memory, in its current form, will never be used to replace hard drives or RAM. The current forms of flash memory all have a finite lifespan dictated by a certain number of writes/rewrites. Think of how many times files are altered in any way on your hard drive or how many times the contents of your system memory change. This has nothing to do with some magical implementation in powerbooks/etc.
while it is true that flash will never completely replace hard drive, it is possible to have flash drive installed along with hard drive. hard drive for operation purpose and big flash drive just to store media files to minimize battery usage.
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
The flash memory could be used to store OSX system files for fast startups with the HD used to store temporary files. Hot-file clustering to increase battery life and reliability.