The state-supported Innovation Network Corp of Japan may pursue a minority stake in Toshiba's memory business, allowing the government to block the sale of a majority stake to businesses deemed risky to national security — including two Apple suppliers, according to a report.
According to the latest industry whispers surrounding the sale Toshiba's semiconductor unit, Apple is considering investing several billion dollars in a bid that would give it and partner investor Foxconn a more than 20 percent stake in the business.
Three Apple suppliers — Hon Hai/Foxconn, SK Hynix, and Broadcom — are reportedly dogged in their determination to bid for Toshiba's memory business, despite strong preferences by both Toshiba and the Japanese government for a domestic buyer.
Toshiba has reportedly shrunk the group of bidders for its memory business from about 10 to a number that may no longer include Apple, though no binding offers have been made, and more bidders could potentially join.
Three tech firms — Apple, Amazon, and Google — have reportedly joined the considerable list of bidders of Toshiba's NAND flash memory business, now on the market as Toshiba looks to raise $9 billion to cover losses at its U.S. nuclear unit, Westinghouse.
The Japanese government is preparing to vet the security of potential bidders for a majority stake in Toshiba's memory business — something that could give U.S. companies an edge, but stop Apple suppliers Foxconn and TSMC, a report said on Friday.
The chairman of Apple supplier Foxconn declared Wednesday that he is "very serious" about bidding for Toshiba's memory chip business, which could potentially guarantee supplies for products like iPhones and consolidate Foxconn's position as a primary Apple manufacturer.
Intel and Micron have announced the launch of a new 3D NAND flash technology, one which could substantially improve the amount of data storage possible in Macs, iPhones, iPads, and numerous other devices.
With accusations of copying and commoditization already rife within the smartphone and tablet industries, three of the market's biggest names — Samsung, HTC and Toshiba — all showcased similar glove-themed prank products on Tuesday for April Fools' Day. Hilarity ensued.
Japanese computing giant Toshiba brought a few interesting products to the show floor this year with its updated FlashAir II Wi-Fi-enabled SD card, Canvio Connect portable wireless HDD and Canvio Slim.
Estimates released Wednesday from market research firms show overall U.S. PC shipments fell nearly 14 percent year-to-year in the third quarter of 2012, while Apple's share shrunk 6.1 percent over the same period.