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After a rough fourth quarter, NAND manufacturers hoped to get a break and instead they got slammed by more bad news, this time from Apple

Apple Inc. last year spent $1.2B USD on NAND flash memory for its consumer electronics devices.  Most of Apple's wildly popular iPod family sports the memory -- the iPod Shuffle, the iPod Nano, and the iPod Touches all use it for storage.  The iPhone also uses NAND, further increasing Apple's already sizable NAND appetite.  Thus Apple's decision hold a significant sway on NAND's fate.

Perhaps predicting slow iPod/iPhone growth, Apple dramatically scaled back its NAND predictions for 2008, sending NAND manufacturers into a panic.  The news, which also may signal bad news for Apple, may be a reflection of the sagging of the U.S. economy, burdened by the U.S. sub-prime mortgage crisis, which has led many analysts to predict a rather dire consumer market for the year.  Apple continues to cut prices in hopes of keeping sales alive, but the outlook is still far from rosy.

iSuppli announced the shifting estimate from Apple on Wednesday, stating, "Apple Inc. has slashed its 2008 NAND order forecast significantly and has informed suppliers that its demand growth will slow in 2008 compared to 2007."

Before iSuppli had predicted a 32% increase in NAND orders for 2008 from Apple.  The change caused iSuppli to drop its estimate for global NAND growth from 27 percent to "single digit" percentage growth from last year's $13.9B USD market.  According to iSuppli in Q1 '08 NAND manufacturers will also invest a 20 percent increase in capital spending, which will increase capacity and lower prices for the consumer, but add further to the suppliers financial woes. 

The year of 2007 held mixed results for NAND suppliers, but still may be looked back fondly upon in comparison to 2008.  In 2007 NAND overall saw 12.5 percent growth.  However in Q3 and Q4 of 2007, six of the top eight NAND producers saw sequential declines in revenue.  Only Micron and Intel escaped this trend.  Samsung and Toshiba, who hold the number one and two spots respectively, were among the losers, but remain on top of the struggling market.

Some top tier NAND suppliers vested in DRAM production as well will get doubly hit, as DRAM is supposed to have an extremely poor year as well, experiencing poor growth of only 4 percent.  While single digit growth may seem acceptable to some, the constant demands for increased capacity at lower prices means that single digit growth typically equates to significant revenue losses.

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RE: Rotten ecomomy?
By Mitch101 on 2/21/2008 3:09:24 PM , Rating: 2
The billions written off by the sub prime lending/lending/banking industry will have a major effect of the economy. Many people overextended themselves with get rich quick ideas of a housing boom trying to turn over the house in 2 years before their sub prime reset with no way housing could ever collapse and it has in many places.

My old house in NJ is worth $56,000 less than what I sold it for. There have already been a lot of layoff's but its going to get worse as they cut staff to make up for losses/poor judgement/risky loans as more sub primes reset.

What is extremely poor is the feds pretend that adjusting the rates will save the country from a recession when the real issues are Increased Taxes, Insurance, and fuel costs. Fuel costs alone effect everything we buy.

In simple terms everything is more expensive and people have less money and their will be less jobs and companies will pay less or move the jobs to places where they can pay less. This is why places like NC/TX/TN/OH are experiencing rapid growth because they can pay someone a lot less than hiring someone in the NY/CA area to do the same job.

Recently I had the opportunity to hire 6 blackberry admins. I got them in Texas for $300,000 a year less than NY. We also hired several Exchange admins in Charlotte for a large sum less about a half mil less than doing it out of our NY office.

Before anyone starts saying Charlotte? Hillbilly's who use Winders and live in trailers. Realize that Microsoft has a call center out of Charlotte. Most are former Microsoft call center employee's.

Big City Big money days are limited.

Because it hasn't hit you or your field yet doesn't mean it wont effect you.

RE: Rotten ecomomy?
By gramboh on 2/22/2008 3:49:18 PM , Rating: 2
Why was this voted down? WTF? Good post, would rate up if I could.

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