The NAND flash memory supply may be headed for a bit of an early season drought thanks to Apple (AAPL). According to a new report from ThinkEquity Partners, Cupertino has bought up all of Samsung’s flash RAM inventory up to April 2009, presumably in preparation for an iPhone refresh. Samsung produces just over 40 percent of the world’s NAND Flash RAM, so we’re talking an awful lot of flash here–enough to cause part shortages and price increases across the entire RAM market. “Our checks indicate that Apple has started ordering for its iPhone refresh (iPhone and iPhone Nano), stifling the supply chain,” ThinkEquity analyst Vijay Rakesh told clients in a note. “We expect NAND spot and contract pricing to continue to trend up.”
Seems Apple’s not only reshaping the music and cellphone industries, but the memory industry as well.