Apple, Google, Amazon Enter Race to Buy Toshiba NAND Flash Unit

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 2, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple, Amazon, and Google are actively engaged in the bidding war to acquire Toshiba's NAND memory unit, according to a report by Yomiuri Shimbun Daily on Saturday (via Korean Herald).

    According to the Japanese newspaper, there are now 10 bidders looking to buy Toshiba's lucrative semiconductor operation, which accounts for 20 percent of the NAND market. Nikkei reported on Friday that U.S. private equity firm Silver Lake and U.S. chipmaker Broadcom offered Toshiba about 2 trillion yen ($18 billion) for the unit. Other bidders include frontrunner and world's largest NAND flash maker, Western Digital, with Apple suppliers Foxconn and TSMC having been named early on as potential suitors.


    On Thursday, Toshiba shareholders agreed to split off the NAND flash unit and sell it, in order to raise at least $9 billion to cover U.S. nuclear unit charges that threaten the conglomerate's future. Both Apple and Samsung are major clients of the unit, while Google and Amazon want to buy the NAND maker to supply their own data servers, rather than having to rely on chipmakers.

    Prices on the flash memory market remain high, while Apple's interest in acquiring the unit has only increased as it continues to boost the storage capacity of its iPhones and iPads. Buying the unit would not only provide Apple with the ability to design and make its own flash memory, but it would also mean Samsung losing its main client. How much Apple's offer amounts to remains unknown, however.

    Article Link: Apple, Google, Amazon Enter Race to Buy Toshiba NAND Flash Unit
  2. Appleaker macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2016
    Apple continues to become more generous with storage prices on iOS devices, I hope this would mean we could potentionally see the same come to the Mac.... if they win the bidding war that is.
  3. smallcoffee macrumors 65816

    Oct 15, 2014
    North America
    Yeah if they ever upgrade them
  4. manu chao macrumors 603

    Jul 30, 2003
    The three biggest tech firms, in their respective category, Apple, Google, Amazon, changing their strategy at the same moment and moving into owning semiconductor fabs? Colour me skeptical.
  5. nfl46 macrumors 604

    Oct 5, 2008
    We all know Apple won't win this. If they wanted to win, they could.
  6. mmcneil macrumors regular


    Sep 4, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    [QUOTE="manu chao, Colour me skeptical.[/QUOTE]
    I think you have an excellent point, encouraging/financing Foxconn or another supplier seems more Likely- the glass caper is probably still fresh in their minds
  7. Rocketman macrumors 603


    So I guess there is a low chance they will just split it?
  8. LeonardXW macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2016
    I wish to bought Toshiba and eventually reduced the price of MacBook.
    I need at least 512GB On Macbook
  9. newyorkone macrumors 6502


    Jun 10, 2009
    Apple NEEDS to win this. There's no excuse for it not to with the largest market cap and massive treasure trove of liquid cash that it's just sitting on and doing nothing with. If Apple doesn't win this, then heads do need to roll. There has been too many high profile missteps, and executive cluelessness, and stifling corporate group think , all while key competitors are surpasing Apple in existing markets and beating them handedly in new markets and technologies.

    Controlling the NAND chip market could buy them some time in playing catch up.
  10. Glassed Silver, Apr 2, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017

    Glassed Silver macrumors 68020

    Glassed Silver

    Mar 10, 2007
    Kassel, Germany
    What do you mean by change of strategy?

    All three of them have solid reasons to cut the middleman and create their own NAND.

    Amazon and Google operate a lot of cloud infrastructure.

    Apple is trying to expand the amount of self-managed cloud infrastructure and at the same time could use the NAND for the many devices they sell.

    Amazon and Google are OEMs as well, so partially that reason applies to them as well.

    We've seen for quite some time now that NAND is incredibly important to keep at low price price points, the more you can do to achieve that the more of an edge over your competitors you have.

    I don't think generous is the right term when you consider how much they milked the 16GB cow and similarly 32GB now (on "Pro" models nonetheless).

    Glassed Silver:ios
  11. pat500000 macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2015
    whats the point of bidding then?
  12. SoN1NjA macrumors 68000


    Feb 3, 2016
    the pool
    It's probably one of those "let's try to bid on this iPhone 7 on eBay brand new, but if it goes above $300 we're out"

    Like, yeah we'll bid on it but if it's anything more than a steal no go
  13. macfacts macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2012
    Don't fool yourself. Apple wants it to increase profits, not to increase base storage in their devices.
  14. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    If there ever was a time to put that massive war chest of Apple's to good use...
  15. tennisproha macrumors 65816

    Jun 24, 2011
    Ftfy. There's no excuse for a base 16 GB model.
    I love how I can buy toilet paper from one of these "tech firms". Go figure.
  16. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    Agreed. Apple generally avoids investments in manufacturing capacity. Design the chip, pay a foundry to produce it. They're more likely to make an equity investment in partnership with another bidder, in order to lock in a certain percentage of the output.

    Apple, Google, and Amazon are names that attract media attention in ways that the other suitors would not. Not sure by what path their names entered the rumor mill, but it could be a ploy to stir up bidding amongst the rest of the suitors.
  17. ScottHammet macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2011
    I hate to break it to you, but in business terms, it's called Vertical Integration. And it would indeed mean a change in strategy. Study business or get an MBA and you'll understand.
  18. Rogifan macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    Playing catch up in what?
  19. Amacfa macrumors 65816


    May 22, 2009

    Well no because Apple isn't playing catch up, everyone else is.

    Apple will win the bid if they want to, they are the wealthiest company in the world. But they are also smart and sometimes very conservative when it comes to how much they spend.

    They could enter the bidding just for the sake of driving the price up, with no intention to win. This gets one company stuck with an overpriced fab. This route is only assuming that Apple may have found better value elsewhere.
  20. Robert.Walter macrumors 65816

    Jul 10, 2012

    Nobody ever controlled a market with 20% share of anything.

    Apple's only interest here is ensuring flexible and diverse long term supply of such memory or its technological successor at the lowest possible price from as many suppliers as possible.

    Once you buy your own, you are wedded to it even if a better or more affordable alternative emerges. Wedded until the pain becomes too great that not moving to that alternative endangers your main business.

    A great part of Apple's success has been its ability to play multiple suppliers off against each other to get the desired component at the best price. It is Apple's interest to continue that arrangement.

    Only if the argument can be made that Apple is better off acquiring a company due to a strategic opportunity offered by its tech will it go the vertical integration route.

    If the price goes too high and there is no strategic IP that Apple risks losing, watch Apple rightly walk away.
  21. Kabeyun macrumors 68000


    Mar 27, 2004
    Eastern USA
    Meaning they decided to bid in order to then deliberately fail? Sorry, but I understand neither your point nor why Aston441 upvoted it.
  22. HJM.NL macrumors 65816


    Jul 25, 2016
    I think to drive up the price for competitors. We all know Apple wants something for a nickel and a dime but sell it 300% the value for customers :rolleyes:
  23. macTW Suspended

    Oct 17, 2016
    It helps the cost to storage continually drops year after year... which will continue (at least for Apple products) if Apple acquires NAND.
  24. wigby macrumors 68000

    Jun 7, 2007
    You're overreacting and know nothing about the details of this purchase. They are probably still trying to determine if it's a good for for them and maybe just trying to drive up the price for others. Apple already does control the NAND chip market in a sense. They place the largest orders and have the most money. That means they get the best prices and their orders are prioritized. It also means they suck the air out of the room and make competitors choke for supply. Buying into a large fab business like this isn't all upside. Remember the debacle for a small acquisition like the sapphire plant?
    --- Post Merged, Apr 2, 2017 ---
    They're not bidding anonymously on EBay. Bidding directly against competitors changes not only the dollar amount but the rational behind the bidding.
  25. 69Mustang macrumors 603


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    I hate to break it to you, but in this case, vertical integration does nothing for Apple. It would simply mean they are tied to their own NAND chips for the foreseeable future. Unless their plans include entering the NAND market as a vendor, then this deal would make even less sense. Fabs are cash intensive, low margin properties. They typically subsist on volume. Apple's volume might be great, but if they are solely supplying themselves then the fab is nothing but expensive overhead with no appreciable benefit. A stake in a bidder makes more sense.

    Studying business or getting an MBA won't overcome the generalities in your quote. The specifics of Apple's business model carries far more weight than studying generic business principles.

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