New MacBook Pros are here! Get the lowest prices anywhere: Apple Price Guides updated Aug 21st (exclusive coupons)
 


Thursday, July 13, 2006, 03:40 pm PT (06:40 pm ET)

iPod delay rumors spark NAND flash price war

Rumors that Apple Computer may delay the release of its next-generation iPod nano have caused a 10 percent sequential drop in mainstream NAND flash prices this month, provoking a price war between Hynix Semiconductor and Samsung Electronics, DigiTimes is reporting.

The overseas publication cites sources at Phison Electronics, the leading memory-application controller-IC design house in Taiwan, who indicate that current consumption of NAND flash is conservative as a reult of the iPod nano rumor.

"Hynix and Samsung, who together accounted for over 60 percent of global NAND sales in the first quarter of 2006 [...], are said to be sparking a price war," DigiTimes reported. "Industry sources observe that Samsung is quoting its single-level cell (SLC) NAND at a level similar to that of multi-level cell (MLC) solutions, in an attempt to avoid losing customers and attract more orders."

Although Samsung proposed a price reduction in order to woo customers away from Hynix, the effect has reportedly been minimal.

Prices of mainstream NAND flash chips keep heading south since experiencing an initial upside in May, according to the report. And the price decline had been enlarged to as much as 14.41 percent for a 1Gbit module by July 6th.

Apple's current iPod shuffle and iPod nano product lines employ NAND flash from both Hynix and Samsung, as well as three other suppliers.