Apple, Inc. may use a quarter of the world’s supply of Flash memory chips in the iPhone and iPod, according to a market research firm.
These chips are used to store multimedia and other files on a wide variety of products, including smartphones, handhelds, and MP3 players.
DRAMeXchange is predicting that Apple will buy 25% of the Flash memory produced during the third quarter of this year in order to meet the high demand for its mobile products through the end of 2007.
Demand Up, Supply Down
Apple might use such a high percentage of these chips not just because its products are popular, but because the number of Flash chips being produced is down.
Flash memory makers switched to a new process earlier this year, and there have been unexpected production problems, reducing the number available chips.
As companies are stockpiling memory chips as they prepare for the busy holiday shopping season, DRAMeXchange notes that prices have been driven up. In addition, some companies are having problems getting enough chips to meet their needs.
This could result in an increase in the prices consumers are charged for all kinds of Flash memory-based devices, as well as the release of some products being pushed back until the manufacturer can get the necessary chips.