In the past few years, the advancement of technology is rapid and this is a good thing. However, it is important to note that technology is usually susceptible to faults. After Western Digital and Kioxia announced on Wednesday that flash memory chips up to 6.5E were contaminated, there were speculations that SSD prices would continue to soar. TrendForce believes that this will affect a number of new products at Apple’s upcoming spring conference. This is because one of the manufacturers is Apple’s main supplier.
According to reports, the factory where the problem occurred is jointly operated by Western Digital and Kioxia. As of now, we can not exactly ascertain the cause of the problem. Furthermore, there is no information regarding when the companies will resume production. However, what we can confirm is that the contamination affects a total of 6.5EB of flash memory.
However, after the accident, the company immediately stated that it would guarantee the supply and would not increase the price. Nevertheless, the industry generally expects a 10% price increase in the second quarter of 2022. In addition, the share prices of Western Digital and Kioxia’s competitors have also been soaring.
Kioxia – a major chip supplier for Apple
As one of the world’s leading suppliers of solid-state drives, Western Digital and Kioxia together account for about 30% of the entire NAND flash memory market. Many of Apple’s products use NAND chips provided by Kioxia. The iPhone 13 series, iPad Pro, and 14-inch/16-inch MacBook Pro all use Kioxia’s chips.
According to previous revelations, Apple also has new products such as the iPhone SE 3, the new Mac Mini, and the iPad Air5 to be launched at the spring conference. As usual, these devices will all use soldered NAND chips. Of course, Kioxia is primarily responsible for supplying these chips. It is not clear whether the stocking of this new batch of n ew products has been affected by the accident. In addition, the tightening of the entire industry due to supply shortages will also bring factors such as price increases in the near future.
As of now, there is no official statement from Apple regarding these latest claims. However, we do not expect the company to release a statement in this regard. If the affected supplies is for Apple, then the company will have to make some alternatives. For Apple, getting alternatives is not as easy as it sounds. Thus, there may be a little delay in the delivery of the products which are to use the chips.