Report: Flash memory firms readying output for Apple

May 31, 2007 – Samsung and Hynix are working to raise production of flash memory chips by July to meet increased demand from Apple, on expectations of the iPhone launch this summer and rumors of a new iPod to be introduced later this year, notes the Nikkei daily paper.

Hynix, the third-largest NAND flash producer behind Samsung and Toshiba, has already started switching over some lines at a factory outside of Seoul from DRAM to NAND flash, to hike flash capacity by 40%. Samsung, meanwhile, is said to be making a “small-scale production hike,” the paper briefly noted.

The companies, who together take more than 60% of the global NAND flash memory market, are seen positioning for demand to come from Apple’s ballyhooed iPhone launch in June, though they may be eyeing further ramps later in the year on rumors that Apple is planning a new iPod. The paper points out that while the NAND flash production hikes will intensify competition, they will also take away some of DRAM production which should help ease the punishing pressure on DRAM prices.

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