Apple Continues to Create Industry-Wide Flash Memory Shortages

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001


    DigiTimes reports that Apple's iPhone and iPod models have continued to put pressure on worldwide supplies of NAND flash memory, soaking up enough of the industry capacity that demand now exceeds supply. The shortage is expected to continue through the remainder of 2009, corresponding with the holiday season that should drive sales of Apple's devices.
    A brief rebound is expected in early 2010 that would allow supplies to again exceed demand, but forecasts show another, larger dip into negative territory for supply/demand ratios later in 2010 as smartphone sales are expected to increase amid improving economic conditions.

    Article Link: Apple Continues to Create Industry-Wide Flash Memory Shortages
  2. iMJustAGuy macrumors 68020


    Sep 10, 2007
    Beach, FL
  3. mr_matalino macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2005
    Dumb question - If the price of flash memory goes up, how does it affect the overall price of RAM?
  4. jbplaya macrumors member

    Aug 25, 2009
  5. ProwlingTiger macrumors 65816


    Jan 15, 2008
    You know you're company is doing well when manufacturers worldwide can't keep up with the demand of your business.

    Heck, do they even need to release a financial report? How 'bout they just say "we've caused an international flash memory shortage" and add a John Madden "boom" for the theatrical effect. :D jking
  6. MasterDev macrumors 65816

    Sep 14, 2009
    I can't tell if that is sarcasm or you are being serious?

    Because if you're being serious, WOW, just wow.
  7. BJB Productions macrumors 65816

    BJB Productions

    Nov 10, 2008
    ....are you joking? I hope you are..because if you aren'
  8. talkingfuture macrumors 65816


    Dec 4, 2008
    The back of beyond.
    I would assume that the Tablet is going to take a large chunk of flash memory next year too.
  9. BongoBanger macrumors 68000


    Feb 5, 2008
    Apple are certainly contributing. I think the biggest buyer of NAND flash memory is still SanDisk though - Apple used to be number three but might be number two now.

    The biggest driver here is the overall growth of the smartphone industry which, of course, Apple have been a big part of.
  10. Lesser Evets macrumors 68040

    Lesser Evets

    Jan 7, 2006

    Demand leads to greater manufacture.
    Greater manufacture leads to lower prices.
    Lower prices means wider use.
    ...and that means we're closer to SSDrives in computers.

    These spinning disks are a crashful nuisance.
  11. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    While eventually we may see that result, I think you've forgotten a basic rule of economics. When demand exceeds supply, prices rise. If you have a limited amount of a commodity, and there are more people trying to get ahold of it than you have enough of it to supply, you can charge more for it. Prices only fall if the supply exceeds the demand.

    Now, where your theory may pay out is if the increased revenues allow these manufacturers to increase their production capacity, in which case the memory will be cheaper to produce, and once the supply increases again, we may see prices fall, but in the short term I would predict the prices will actually rise (of course excluding existing contracts that prevent that for certain companies, likely including Apple).

  12. Velorium macrumors member

    Aug 23, 2009
    It doesn't.
  13. RMo macrumors 65816


    Aug 7, 2007
    Iowa, USA
    RAM is not made using flash memory. (Flash is nonvolatile, meaning its contents remain even without power. A hard drive is also nonvolatile. RAM is volatile, which is why losing power to your computer when you're working on it is an unfortunate occurrence and why [unless the contents of RAM are written to the HD] your computer must still use a bit of power in sleep mode.)

    Basically, they're different technologies, so there is no effect.
  14. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Apple's just the buyer. More like...

    Go Samsung, Toshiba, Micron and Hynix !!

  15. koobcamuk macrumors 68040


    Oct 23, 2006
    Yeh. Shortages of technology are not a good thing, unless it drives new technology, which I doubt this is.
  16. Lesser Evets macrumors 68040

    Lesser Evets

    Jan 7, 2006
    I could set down in an intermediate area too and just say: we have no NAND anymore! PANIC! But, yes, the future is SS memory for drives and media in stores, etc. instead of disks of any sort. This will force us there, but yes, it won't happen tomorrow. Or next year. Give it a couple years or maybe more.
  17. dmouw25 macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2009
    Apple has nothing to do with this. There was a worldwide surplus of NAND manufacturing. This drove prices so low, it put many NAND manufacturers out of business. The excess capacity has finally disappeared from the market and now prices can stabilize at a reasonable level. This is good news for IC manufacturers, but bad news for everybody else.
  18. Mattie Num Nums macrumors 68030

    Mattie Num Nums

    Mar 5, 2009
    Its bound to happen though. Apple has been notorious for hoarding NAND/Flash memory. This isn't a first. Apple almost killed Samsungs NAND supply a few years ago by buying almost all of it.
  19. ThunderSkunk macrumors 68030


    Dec 31, 2007
    Milwaukee Area
    Gah. So much for increasing the ram in next years devices & keeping the cost static.
  20. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    No, THIS is Flash memory

    Attached Files:

  21. Stephen123 macrumors regular

    Sep 3, 2007
    That graph labelled Supply/Demand is clearly not Supply/Demand (note the negative numbers). What is it? (Supply-Demand)/Supply ?
  22. BongoBanger macrumors 68000


    Feb 5, 2008
    It's the ratio of available supply to demand. If it's negative there's not enough.
  23. NoExpectations macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2008
    Great News!

    Build more factories, hire more employees. This is a nice problem to have. :)
  24. Michael73 macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2007
    But flash memory is certainly used in A LOT more items than just Apple products, I mean c'mon. What about the latest generation of flash-based camcorders, TV's, handheld gaming devices, digital picture frames, industrial applications, audio electronics and on and on...

    I'm sure Apple's sales do sway the market some but not as much as we'd all believe.

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