SAN JOSE, Calif. -- After select shortages and flat average selling prices (ASPs) in recent times, the NAND flash market is possibly due for another crash.
Apple Computer Inc., the world's largest NAND buyer, is cutting back on its procurement of these parts, according to an analyst. There is also no killer application for NAND right now, the analyst said.
''We heard that Apple reduced NAND purchases in December/January,'' said Edwin Mok, an analyst at
Needham & Co. LLC, in a report.
''In 2006, Apple took similar cutbacks, and a surge in supply growth resulted in a 70 percent plus price decline for NAND chip from January to September 2006,'' he said.
''While prices have already fallen 40-50 percent since November 2006, we see more pressure in 1H '08 due to new supplies coming online,'' he added. ''We believe NAND prices will further decline in 1H '08 due to accelerated supply growth and lack of a new demand driver.''
Micron, Toshiba and Samsung continue to ramp up their respective NAND capacities. In fact, the mood is changing at Toshiba Corp., especially for its NAND flash efforts.
Adding to the woes is a potential legal problem for vendors. A class action suit was filed against SanDisk Corp. and 23 other companies over alleged price fixing for NAND flash memory devices in the market. There are also signs that the U.S. Department of Justice and a Canadian agency are looking into alleged price fixing practices in the market.