We are seeing NAND flash memory in all sorts of products these days and the high demand for the cheap memory saw Toshiba and SanDisk enter a joint venture to build an expanded production facility in Japan. This facility was scheduled to go operational this year to allow the two giant flash memory makers to ramp up to meet demands.
Then came the failing economy and accompanying price freefalls that has many memory makers running in the red. This climate has worsened to the point that Toshiba and SanDisk are cutting back their production of NAND memory, Toshiba by a tremendous 30%. Both companies are claiming that demand has fallen dramatically resulting in over-supply which has caused memory prices to tank.
''Recession in the global economy and the slowdown in consumer spending are having a significant impact on demand for semiconductors,'' according to Toshiba in a statement. ''This is particularly notable in NAND flash memories, where decreased demand for applications such as memory cards and MP3 players has generated excess supply.''
What is unclear is how this global flash memory situation will impact Apple. Apple is one of the largest consumers of NAND flash memory in iPods and iPhones and it's not clear how they would be impacted if a major consolidation of memory makers were to take place next year as some experts predict.