Apple’s NAND flash needs create global shortage

“With Apple increasing the amount NAND flash ordered from its suppliers, other customers of Hynix Semiconductors and Samsung Electronics are seeing growing difficulties in securing sufficient stock,” Josephine Lien and Esther Lam report for DIGITIMES.

“Sources at Taiwan memory houses indicated that Hynix and Samsung began reserving more of their stock for Apple starting from July resulting a strain on supply to other customers. Both Hynix and Samsung had informed their customers in late June that supply in July will be constrained, citing the fact that Apple is about to pre-stock NAND flash to meet the coming seasonal upturn,” Lien and Lam report.

Full article here.


  1. If they were fore-warned, they should have fore-armed themselves by placing orders there & then. No use in crying over spilt milk when they were offered a tray and turned it down!

    A stitch in time saves nine, the NAND issue had been written about ages ago, I remember blogging about it.

    What do they want now? Someone to say to Apple inc. you cannot have them all? It is a capitalist society out there, just go and buy them elsewhere or get a licence to manufacture them!

  2. @ Not Bill

    For their new Mac Book Pro’s that will be lighter, have longer battery life and a quicker response time due to not having a hard drive, but NAND instead.

    That was what the discussion was about ages ago.

  3. Given the cost of building or expanding foundries, and the cyclical nature of the memory market, companies are averse to investing the big bucks necessary to catch the next demand wave. With Apple taking the biggest bite of production – and growing – we can anticipate more such shortages.

  4. It’s like that early SIMPSONS episode where the family is in counseling with Dr. Marvin Monroe. They’re all buzzing each other with the shock buttons and making the city go dark.

    Sorry, no NAND for you!

  5. Wait,

    So what we have here is an industry that keeps supplies of flash memory so tight that they artifically are keeping prices high? Isn’t that price fixing?

    Oh wait, five of our nine geniuses on the Supremem Court have determined that price fixing is perfectly leagal in Geoge Bush’s garden of eden capitalism.

    Proof, there’s no intelligent design – in the White House.

  6. FBI.Oh wait, five of our nine geniuses on the Supremem Court have determined that price fixing is perfectly leagal in Geoge Bush’s garden of eden capitalism.

    Yeah, GWB can’t spell either. Although, he probably CAN spell ‘legal’.

  7. ron, i know we sometimes discuss rumors here, but saying bush can spell without proof to back it up is pretty borderline….

    back on topic, between the flash assist notebook rumor, the all flash notebook rumor, the iPhone, and Jobs only knows what new iPods, Apple might have to either invent a new memory tech or build their own foundry….

    MW: i am hoarding cash “until” an iPod with WiFi comes out to match my wife’s iPhone!

  8. Apple have a number of current products that use Flash memory, iPod Nano, Shuffle and iPhone. With the Holiday season coming up Apple could easily see 30 M in the Xmas quarter. I would imagine that the nano and shuffles will get refreshes before then, so Apple need to ensure they have the supply of memory when they start to build the new products.

    Those alone represent a significant amount of the world demand for flash memory.

    Add to that any new products that use flash memory, including drives for new subcompacts, increased capacity of nanos or flash in video iPods, could cause major constraint. Chip manufacturers try to maintain good supply and demand balance to prevent the price dropping too much.

  9. Thanks DogGone. Good thoughts. It could well be they are planning to build a very, very large number of iPhones. It is hard to imagine how many it would take to create a shortage. Or, there could be a new product, like a lap top, with some flash memory. Or a new iPod that behaves much like an iPhone. Just too darn tantalizing!

    Another thought is that they may be expecting a plethora of new phones from competitors and they want to make sure they have their supply of memory secure.

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