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Apple's Flash Feast Could Crimp SSD Sales

Apple's voracious demand for flash memory is well documented. And with the upcoming April 3 release of the iPad, some hard drive makers are expressing concern that Apple might actually stunt the entire solid-state drive market as it snaps up every memory device it can get its hands on.

In the past, Apple product launches have become notorious for draining the supply of components from a market, at least for a few weeks. But with the arrival of the iPad, as Taiwanese publication DigiTimes points out, Apple now consumes almost one-third of the world's total NAND flash output.

That's good news for Apple and its customers, but Hardware Central points out that if the iPad is even close to as successful as the company's other must-have devices the resulting consumption will sure lead to higher SSD prices.

Folks in the industry remember that the launch of the iPhone 3GS was preceded by the company buying out literally everything from Toshiba, a major maker of NAND flash memory. It drained the market of flash so thoroughly that the price spiked for several weeks until supply was rebuilt.


"With the iPad likely to grab most memory supplies, prices may increase causing higher prices for SSDs, the sources said," wrote DigiTimes.

The article cited an IDC report from January 2010 that said SSD price points and storage capacities must be competitive with HDD costs before broader adoption of PC-based SSD storage will take place. So, could Apple suck up enough NAND to tilt the market?

Read the full story at Hardware Central:
Can Apple's Hot Streak Cool Enterprise SSD Sales?"