The Korea Times: Apple ‘bullying’ NAND flash memory makers

Cyber Monday Sale over 400  deals“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.


  1. “Mark these words, there’s going to come a time in the future where you’ll question your life’s mission of deriding Microsoft. It’s when Apple becomes just as evil as the original evil empire. You see the signs on the wall. When you stop to think, there’s nothing that makes Apple any less better, except for … less marketshare, and a nicer user interface. Apple, even at this early stage of 9% marketshare, is showing signs. Draconian NDA’s for iPhone developers. Removing the matte screen option when most polls show that between 40 and 60% of people prefer matte. Literally, Apple could not care a stuff about it’s customers. It is all about their money. So, if that’s how they are when they are 9% marketshare, imagine them when it gets to 40% marketshare. Truly — and you mark these words — you are going to wonder if you’ve spent your efforts wisely. You’ll get disillusioned with yourself, and how, in your younger days, you realise you, in some small way, contributed to the growth of the new monster. It’s like the Godzilla movies. When the old monster dies, a new even more vile monster rises to take it’s place. And the world is no longer safe.”

  2. What a load of crap. if Apple is breaking a contract then Samsung doesn’t have to play nice with them. Seems to me that Samsung is making oodles of money off of Apple year after year. If Apple is dicking them around, sell the damn flash elsewhere….hey…maybe Microsoft could use it for the Zune… version 7 (hehehe just made that version up).

    A contract is a two way street. You don’t play nice with me, then I do not have to play nice with you.

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