Apple to switch 4GB iPod mini from hard-drive to flash-based?

“With demand for its popular iPod music player booming, Apple Computer Inc. plans to buy as much as 40 percent of the NAND flash output of Samsung Electronics Co. in the second half of this year, according to market research firm iSuppi Corp.,” David Lammers reports for EE Times.

“As Apple moves from a hard disk-based iPod to a flash-based iPod Mini player at the 4-GByte capacity, the switch could leave other NAND customers scrambling for supply, the market research company said,” Lammers reports. “In a report issued Friday (Aug. 19th), iSuppli memory analyst Nam Hyung Kim said sources told him that Samsung has offered Apple ‘extremely low prices on its NAND parts’ in order to convince Apple to switch from HDD storage to NAND memory for the 4-GByte-density iPod.”

Full article here.

Related articles:
Report: Apple to debut 4GB, 6GB iPod shuffle units later this year – August 18, 2005
RUMOR: 2GB and 4GB iPod shuffles, 8GB iPod mini coming soon – June 29, 2005
CSFB: Apple to unveil iPod shuffle, iPod mini units with greater disk space ‘throughout the year’ – June 29, 2005
Report: Apple may be meeting goal of selling 1 million iPod shuffles per month – July 15, 2005
Report: Apple preps 2GB and 4GB versions of iPod shuffle for June, August releases – May 27, 2005


  1. This is the future. The more storage that is available in solid state form, the less likely it is for dataloss from hard drive crashes. Also solid state uses considerably less power.

    I can remember the first 1 gig HD I bought to use as a server. It was bigger than a shoebox and weighed like a tonne. Now we’re talking 4 gig flash memory that will fit inside a pack of gum. Imagine an array of ten or forty of those. Low power use, no head crashes. Instant access because all your data is in RAM (virtually).


    MW: question—why would anyone want spinning, crashing disks?

  2. “Apple Computer Inc. plans to buy as much as 40 percent of the NAND flash output of Samsung Electronics Co. in the second half of this year…”

    Wow. 40%??

    40 percent of Samsung’s total NAND flash output; that’s a sh!tload of flash memory.

    I currently live in Seoul, S. Korea, where Samsung is based. Samsung is a GLOBAL electronic components manufacturer. For Apple to consume 40% of their output of a particular product is pretty damned impressive.

  3. “why would anyone want spinning, crashing disks?”

    Because hard drives are still the fastest technology on the market. Flash drives are slooooow for such things as random drive access. Hard drives are still the superior product for servers & computers… for a long time to come.

  4. Hooty, there has been some confusion over the microdrive in the iPod mini, due to the fact that these microdrives speak the CompactFlash protocol.

    Despite behaving as a CF device, the Microdrive is a spinning-platter hard disk. Just a really tiny one.

  5. For my microdrive in my digital camera, I’d always been told it takes up to 20% more battery life than my flash memory. And, looking at transfer rates for digital pics, it seems that microdrives are faster when transferring large amounts of data, and slower for smaller files. There may still be some comparisons at

  6. Hey, if Apple really does come out with a 4gb Mini based on flash memory at the same price – I’ll buy one the first day. No KoolAid needed.

    So what if the transfer rate is slower, I don’t have to load songs that often – I would gladly give up transfer rate to have an iPod for skiing that I wouldn’t have to worry about scrambling the drive on and the battery would last all day. Then I would use my 20gb in the car and my 4gb everywhere else.

  7. What if the NAND flash from Samsung is being ordered by Apple for its iTunes phone? iPod phone, with 4GB of flash storage? Remotely possible but unlikely. Most likely, indeed is that this is going into new iPod minis. I can’t go through all the songs on my Shuffle moving up and down one song at a time; a 4GB shuffle would be useless, for music, for me.

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