Apple Manipulating NAND Flash Prices?

Anonymous sources within the industry accused Apple late Sunday of “bullying” NAND flash producers with “questionable” purchasing practices. They claim that Apple is artificially suppressing NAND flash prices by placing orders for more than they need and then only buying the amount they need, creating a surplus and driving down prices.

“Apple should certainly be blamed for deteriorating the supply and demand cycle in the global NAND flash market,” a senior industry official told The Korea Times, refusing to be named.

“Apple has asked Korean semiconductor makers to produce a certain amount of chips for its digital products, only to actually purchase a smaller volume eventually. The company doesn’t make immediate purchases, but waits until chip prices to fall to the level the company has internally targeted.”

Another anonymous official described their purchasing practices as “absurd”, saying, “Samsung and Hynix both provide chips to Apple and have less of an edge in deciding prices and volume. Apple’s strategy could hurt the industry’s health.”

Both Samsung and Hynix, the two largest producers of NAND flash memory chips, refused to comment.

An industry source simply stated, “We already knew about this,” without offering any other details.

[via Korea Times]

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