Tight supply of NAND flash may remain until early 2013


Josephine Lien, Taipei; Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES [Tuesday 16 October 2012]
The global supply of NAND flash memory has been tight, boosting prices for the chips recently, according to industry sources. The tight supply is likely to persist until early 2013, as demand will strengthen arising ahead of year-end holidays as well as the Lunar New year, the sources said.

Supply in the spot market is tighter as major NAND-chip suppliers including Samsung Electronics, Toshiba, SanDisk, Micron Technology and SK Hynix intend to focus on orders placed by their system clients, the sources indicated. The five leading NAND flash companies have been enjoying brisk demand coming from the smartphone and tablet sectors, the sources said.

Suppliers to Apple, for instance, have provided a very limited amount to their other customers particularly those without long-term contracts, the sources noted. Toshiba, Hynix and SanDisk reportedly supply NAND flash chips for the recently-launched iPhone 5.

Due to insufficient supplies from chipmakers, distributors and module makers have quoted their NAND flash products at higher prices, the sources pointed out.

In other news, major memory module companies specializing in flash related products have reported impressive sales results for September. The firms are expected to post sales growth through November thanks to favorable chip prices, according to the sources.