Report: Apple manipulating NAND flash pricing

Apple is manipulating NAND flash memory pricing though “questionable” purchasing strategies, according to a new report. Citing multiple unnamed industry officials, The Korea Times reports that Apple is using the leveraging power provided by the popularity of the iPhone and flash-based iPods to order more chips from semiconductor makers than it actually needs. “Apple should certainly be blamed for deteriorating the supply and demand cycle in the global NAND flash market,” said an unnamed senior industry official. “Apple has asked Korean semiconductor makers to produce a certain amount of chips for its digital products, only to actually purchase a smaller volume eventually. The company doesn’t make immediate purchases, but waits until chip prices to fall to the level the company has internally targeted.” A separate unnamed official called Apple’s purchasing strategies “absurd,” adding, “Samsung and Hynix both provide chips to Apple and have less of an edge in deciding prices and volume. Apple’s strategy could hurt the industry’s health.” An earlier report from September indicated that Apple’s consumption of NAND flash chips, which are used in the iPhone and iPod nano, touch, and shuffle, was causing a severe shortage of the popular components.

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