Monday, September 19, 2005

Demand for Flash Memory Skyrockets

USA TODAY reports that the demand for Flash memory is sky rocketing, fueled by the proliferation of mobile devices that depend on it for storage. According to Mark DeVoss at iSuppli, one type, NAND flash, "is expected to post revenue growth of 18% a year for the next five years — stunning results in the cutthroat components market."

Jim Handy at Semico Research concurred sayng "It's the fastest-growing memory market that has ever existed." One reason is a drop in price which makes it viable for larger devices. Semico found the "the wholesale price of 2 gigabytes of flash has tumbled from $838 in 2002 to $99 today."

One of the latest Flash-based devices is the recently launched Apple iPod nano. Handy remarked it was "so inexpensive that Apple is probably losing money on it, with the hope of profiting through music sales and later models." Handy predicts Apple's competition will bring their own larger capacity Flash-based products to market and "gobble up so much flash that there may be temporary shortages and price increases on the wholesale market."