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Apple to buy 40 per cent of Samsung's flash chips

Apple plans to 40% of Samsung's flash memory output in the second half for its new flash-based iPod Mini MP3 player.

business Updated: Aug 24, 2005 17:15 IST

Apple Computer Inc plans to buy as much as 40 per cent of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's flash memory output in the second half for its new flash-based iPod Mini MP3 player, research firm iSuppli Corp said on Wednesday, quoting unidentified industry sources.

Apple, known for its popular iPod digital music player, is expected to introduce a version of the iPod Mini that uses NAND flash memory instead of a hard disk drive for the Christmas season, Nam Hyung Kim, an analyst at iSuppli Corp. said.

"To support production of its flash memory-based iPods, Apple has booked as much as 40 per cent of the NAND output of Samsung for the second half of 2005, according to our industry sources," Nam said.

"We're not sure now many of the new iPods Apple can sell this holiday season, but 40 per cent would be the maximum in terms of their demand," he added.

South Korea's Samsung is the world's largest producer of NAND flash memory, used in hot-selling MP3 music players, digital cameras and high-end mobile phones, commanding a 55 per cent share of the market.

Apple shipped 6.2 million iPods— about 1 million more than Wall Street's expectations - in the fiscal third quarter ended June 25, as its net profit jumped five-fold.

A Samsung spokeswoman declined to comment.

"Samsung normally cannot comment on deals with customers," she said.

Apple already buys flash memory chips for its iPod Shuffle player from Samsung.

First Published: Aug 24, 2005 15:03 IST