It’s the cascade effect that always gets analysts’ hearts aflutter. In this case, we’re talking about the iPhone Effect, and how it will change the landscape of flash memory.
Apple’s hottest product will come with at least 4GB of NAND, and chip makers are jumping up and down trying to be first in line to fill those orders. Samsung is already onboard for 2GB chips, set to debut in March. Now we have Toshiba wading in as well, listing the same March ship month and announcing plans to use 56-nanometer technology, with a promise of 300,000 a month beginning in April.
Toshiba is pouring on the speed, revving its factories up to a fever pitch to crank out 1GB chips on the 70-nanometer model by the end of this month. Expect Samsung to pursue similar strategies.
We say it’s a cascade effect because before Apple’s announcement, chipmakers were openly questioning continuing to make high volumes of such chips due to tremendous losses in profits. Now, thanks to Apple, it would seem that spending is about to skyrocket again.