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Report: Did Apple manipulate NAND prices?

Posted: 02 Dec 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Apple price manipulation  NAND flash  memory 

An article in Korea Times suggests that Apple Inc.of used its commanding purchasing position to manipulate NAND flash memory prices.

The article attributes the accusation to "chipmakers" but cites "industry sources" who are apparently frustrated that Apple is placing large orders for NAND flash memory and then buying less memory, thereby causing an oversupply in the market which suppresses prices.

Big long-term orders by Apple for NAND memory were being reported in April 2009.

What may be arguable is whether over-ordering is a deliberate policy by Apple or just happenstance in what has been a difficult year. However, the observation is made in the article that Apple has enjoyed earnings due to the popularity of the iPhone handset while South Korean chip providers such as Samsung and Hynix are struggling.

"Apple should certainly be blamed for deteriorating the supply and demand cycle in the global NAND flash market," The Korea Times quoted an unnamed industry official as saying. The article goes on to say that the Apple iPhone is proving less popular in China, Japan and South Korea than it has in the West.

- Peter Clarke
EE Times Europe

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