Apple taking chunk of Samsung's flash chips

The order of 50 million 8Gb chips should go a long way toward keeping Apple in flash memory during the initial ramp of the iPhone 3G.

Tom Krazit Former Staff writer, CNET News
Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Google, as the most prominent company on the Internet defends its search juggernaut while expanding into nearly anything it thinks possible. He has previously written about Apple, the traditional PC industry, and chip companies. E-mail Tom.
Tom Krazit
Apple's moving to secure enough flash memory chips for the launch of the iPhone 3G. Apple

Samsung is warning its customers that NAND flash memory might be hard to come by for some time after Apple placed a large order, according to a report out of Taiwan.

Digitimes reported Wednesday that Apple recently placed an order of 50 million 8Gb flash chips that it plans to use for that iPhone thing you might have heard about, and therefore the rest of Samsung's customers will have to wait for their chips. Samsung is one of the companies that Apple contracted with to secure supply of flash memory back in 2005.

The order would translate into 50 million GBs worth of flash (8Gb, or gigabits, equals 1GB, or gigabyte). So, since Apple's planning on having 16GB and 8GB versions of the iPhone 3G, that's enough memory for 3 million 16GB versions, or 6 million 8GB versions, or (most likely) a more even distribution between the two capacities.

Apple apparently ordered 25 million 8Gb chips in June to get the ball rolling, and is now planning for the ramp of the iPhone 3G. The company has steadfastly maintained that it expects to sell 10 million iPhones this year, and it needs to sell about 7.7 million units in the second half of the year to make that goal.