“There are growing complaints in the semiconductor industry that Apple, the ‘smart’ phone maker extraordinaire and major chip buyer, is manipulating NAND flash memory prices through its ‘questionable’ purchasing strategies, industry sources said Sunday,” Kim Yoo-chul reports for The Korea Times.
“And there is not much that Samsung Electronics, the world’s biggest flash memory maker, and Hynix Semiconductor, the industry’s No. 3 player, can do about Apple’s moves, as the American company increasingly gains leveraging power due to the global popularity of its iPhone handsets and other consumer electronics products,” Yoo-chul reports.
“The summary of the arguments goes as this ― Apple is contributing to the suppression in flash memory prices by ordering more chips from semiconductor makers than the amount it actually buys from them,” Yoo-chul reports. “‘Apple should certainly be blamed for deteriorating the supply and demand cycle in the global NAND flash market,’ a senior industry official told The Korea Times, refusing to be named.”
“‘Apple has asked Korean semiconductor makers to produce a certain amount of chips for its digital products, only to actually purchase a smaller volume eventually. The company doesn’t make immediate purchases, but waits until chip prices to fall to the level the company has internally targeted,’” Yoo-chul reports. “The chip industry had hoped Apple would increase purchases of NAND flash memory chips to boost the output of iPhone and other flagship devices.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: First of all, without Apple, there is no NAND flash market. Apple created the demand nearly singlehandedly and therefore controls not only a great deal of the supply, but influences prices as well. Welcome to unfettered, unrigged capitalism, Korea. Second of all, this article is nothing more than yet another Korean anti-Apple hit piece. This sort of nonsense has been going on in Korean media as certain Korean smartphone makers get ready to be converted from protected over-charging purveyors of mediocrity and worse into Apple’s roadkill. This is iPod redux (please see related articles below). The entities in question never come out and say who they are, most likely because they also have massive deals in place to supply Apple with components, including the aforementioned flash memory (and LCD panels, among many other things). Our advice to those interests peppering Korea with this poppycock: Shut up, quit whining, take your medicine, and keep looking for another market around which you can institute Korean super-protectionism, so you can ripoff your own countrymen yet again.