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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 ebakke on 2/21/2008 3:55:04 PM , Rating: 2
Oh cripes. The economy is doing just fine. I hate this damn fear mongering.

Fairly well written article:
http://online.wsj.com/public/article_print/SB12014...


RE: Rotten ecomomy?
By FITCamaro on 2/21/2008 4:06:16 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. I think if there was a recession, it would be because mainstream media caused it by creating a panic.


RE: Rotten ecomomy?
By BansheeX on 2/21/2008 10:14:15 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, brother, here we go again with nominal values adjusted with worthless government statistics. Then end is particularly telling "Keep the faith. Now is a great time to buy." That should just jump out and scream at you. Luskin was calling the bottom last fall and telling people to buy with both fists, and you would have lost big if you did. But I'm guessing you don't understand the stock market enough to see the red flag.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emvMqjtcO7o

There, now you have a small crash course. Schiff always has been an excellent orator for the average joe.

The nominal GDP rate of growth is gotten by assuming annualized inflation that is grossly, grossly below what it actually is. You need only go outside every once in a while to see that reality is far outpacing this number. Commodity prices are simply jetpacking right now to all-time highs with no signs of slowing down. What was oil today? $100 a barrel, with many predicting $150? If you read any articles that are critical of the CPI figures and how they are calculated and how they have changed over the years, you will see that the federal reserve is blatantly trying to mask inflation so that the masses will glaze over nominally-obsessed corporate cheerleader articles such as the one you just referenced. Because the borrow and spend system is largely dependent on the consumer and investor confidence to prop it up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-w5pSm_BLGU


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