Apple NAND Flash Chip Order Points to 32GB iPhone
Apple reportedly ordered a large NAND flash chip shipment from Samsung, says a research note from Lazard Capital Markets. The 16-gigabit chips point to the likelihood of a 32GB iPhone, as well as a positive impact to the NAND industry, which includes Toshiba and SanDisk.Apple has ordered 100 million units of 8-gigabit and 16-gigabit NAND flash memory chips, mostly from Samsung, according to an April 13 research note from Daniel Amir of Lazard Capital Markets.
The chips will likely go toward the new iPhones Apple is preparing to launch in June, according to the report.
The majority of the order is expected to favor the 16-gigabit memory chips, CNET reports, signaling that a 32GB iPhone is in the works. Amir predicted the latter in a March 31 note, along with a low-end 3G version-or "junior" iPhone, as Kaufman Brothers analyst Shaw Wu has called it.
The two new iPhones are expected out in June, likely at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, which starts June 8.
Amir's research note, primarily focused on the semiconductor market, additionally noted that Toshiba is expected to lower its wafer load in the second quarter to 60 percent, compared with the 70 percent of the first quarter.
In March, SanDisk units increased 15 percent, and Lazard expects a further increase of 10 to 20 percent in April.
Toshiba and SanDisk have joint ventures. In October 2008, Samsung-Apple's main iPhone chip provider-withdrew a bid to purchase SanDisk, after Toshiba and SanDisk announced an agreement that turned over 30 percent of SanDisk's share of its manufacturing capacity for its joint ventures with Toshiba to Toshiba.
Samsung said the move created a quarter-billion-dollar operating loss, and made SanDisk's profile more risky.