Companies Charge Apple Manipulates Flash Memory Prices

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(Photo: Brandon Shigeta/Flickr)

Has Apple manipulated flash memory supply and demand, causing prices to fluctuate? An unnamed memory industry official tells a South Korean newspaper the Cupertino, Calif. company “should certainly be blamed for deteriorating the supply and demand cycle in the global NAND flash market.”

The comments are just the latest pointing a finger at Apple for changes in how much NAND, or flash memory, is purchased by the company and the effect on Korea’s memory makers, such as Samsung and Hynix. Anonymous sources told The Korea Times Apple will often order, then buy less than expected, creating an excess inventory and lower flash memory prices. The supposed tactic is being attacked, given Apple’s record profits amidst lean times for chipmakers.


This isn’t the first time Apple has been implicated in the economic health of chipmakers. An October report said flash memory supplies, already 1.3 percent below demand, are expected to reach 3.3 percent under demand for the all-important holiday period. The reason: chipmakers are favoring Apple and its plethora of flash-driven devices, including the iPod and iPhone.

In September, Apple was blamed for a “serious shortage” of flash memory ahead of unveiling a new line of flash-based iPods, including the 64GB iPod touch and an updated iPod nano. Earlier in the year, another flash scare was blamed on an expected iPhone update.

[Via 9to5Mac and Korea Times]