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Apple buying up the world's flash memory

Giant iPhone
Wonder how much of the world's NAND is in that thing?

The demand for iPhones and iPods is expected to be so great this year, Apple has bought up a huge chunk of the world's flash memory supply, causing shortages and raising prices for other manufacturers.

A report from ThinkEquity about the broader NAND flash RAM market suggests Apple has snapped up all the flash Samsung can make until April.

Apple first, then the rest

As the Korean firm makes 40 per cent of the world's NAND, that represents a very healthy appetite for Apple gear.

Such huge orders are squeezing the supply to other device builders, but are also putting unexpected pressure on some components as companies scrabble for what they can get.

Next-gen iPhone?

ThinkEquity says small 1GB and 2GB chips are rising in price, as Apple seems to have cornered the market for 8GB and 16GB components. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that memory makers are in the process of phasing out the smaller units anyway.

Naturally, this being Apple we're talking about, there's already speculation about the memory being destined for version three of the iPhone. We'll leave that one for now, but expect to hear plenty more in the near future.