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Report: Samsung bags iPhone NAND order

Posted: 15 Apr 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:NAND? Samsung iPhone order? flash memory?

NAND flash prices are up and demand risingat least for some vendors.

Amid a slight rebound for NAND, the early winner in the market appears to be South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.

"Our checks confirm that Apple placed orders for 100 million 8- and 16Gbyte NAND flash chips, mostly from Samsung, for the new iPhone launch in June," said Daniel Amir, an analyst with Lazard Capital Markets, in a new report.

"This order confirms our earlier checks in which we called for Apple orders to positively impact the NAND industry in Q2," he said. "We believe that NAND prices will continue to firm and increase (about) 20 percent in Q2."

In fact, Apple's new iPhones could save the day for NAND and other chip markets, such as baseband, RF and others. "Our checks confirm that two versions of iPhones will be introduced this year. Production of the new phones should start at the beginning of April and will ramp in May," he said in a separate and recent report.

"We believe the two new versions will be announced in Junea low-end and a high-end version. The low-end version may lack Wi-Fi and a few other features that the high-end version will have, such as video capability, a better camera and 32Gbyte of NAND, but it will still be 3G," he added.

Total iPhone shipments could reach seven to eight million units in Q2 09, according to the analyst. Shipments for the current version of the iPhone in Q2 09 will still be on track with about five million units, or approximately 30 percent higher than in Q1 09, he said.

While, Samsung is the early winner in NAND, other NAND players, including SanDisk Corp. and Toshiba Corp., are seeing mixed results.

"Our checks suggest that Toshiba will lower its wafer load further in 2Q to 60 percent (compared with 70 percent in Q1)," he said. "Toshiba will significantly raise pricing further in order to maximize profits in the near term on NAND. This is another sign that pricing in Q2 is likely to stay firm."

SanDisk Corp. is also increasing unit production. "Our checks suggest that in March units increased 15 percent (month-over-month)," he said. "We believe we could see a further uptick in April of 10-20 percent (month-over-month) as inventory improves and SanDisk takes advantage of the attractive pricing compared with its competition."

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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