The Apple iPad appears to be spearheading an expected 296 percent jump in flash memory for 2011. Once known for producing iPods and iPhones with insatiable appetites for memory, the iPad (along with its rivals) tablet device means 1.7 billion Gigabytes of flash memory will ship next year – up from 428GB used this year, according to iSuppli.
The hardware analysts expect 8.8 billion GB of flash memory will ship by 2014. “Tablets have stolen some cache from netbooks,” declares senior memory and storage analyst Michael Yang. Part of the reason for the iPad’s popularity is its use of NAND flash storage, rather than traditional hard disk drives.
Previously, Apple’s quest to keep up with demand for the iPad was detailed in an expanding supplier base. Most recently, Apple added the Taiwan-based Cando plant to produce an additional 1 million touchscreens for the tablet. That figure is on top of a $240 million deal with Samsung for 3 million touchscreens to boost production from LG, the largest supplier for the iPad screen.
Samsung recently introduced the Samsung Tab, a device meant to compete with Apple’s iPad. The Tab already has four U.S. carriers lined up to sell the tablet device.