“Apple… entered into a $500M agreement with Intel and Micron last November helping to form IM Flash Technologies. By paying out $250M each to Intel and Micron, they’ve secured first-mover access at unparalleled pricing for NAND+ products. I call them NAND+ because IM Flash is already sampling the industry’s first 50nm scale technology for manufacturing flash, a process 10x smaller than that of facilities just coming online now,” Sean Alexander blogs for Addicted to Digital Media.
“This got me to thinking about why we still haven’t seen a new iPod released by Apple. Are they relinquishing their perceptual first-mover’s advantage? Not necessarily. My prediction is that they’re waiting until their investment in cheaper, smaller, NAND technology is ready. Smaller nm NAND flash offers higher capacities in a smaller space,” Alexander writes.
“So what is Apple going to do? I’m going to make my own prediction: Apple will first start to integrate their new memory investments into an upcoming iPhone, which will have a smaller unit-volume requirement than a next-gen iPod Nano. They’ll release a phone with 16-32GB of flash memory to cater to the high-end market. In Q1/Q2, once IM Flash is ramping up, the new Nano/Nano replacement will come out, and a price battle will kick into overdrive. The smaller sized chips + lower price to Apple gives them an edge on size of device, capacity, and without a major price differential.,” Alexander writes.
Full article here.
Apple announces over 30 million iPods sold, reaches long-term supply agreements for flash memory – November 21, 2005