Samsung launches a massive $10 billion memory chips production line, while Apple is sailing away
Amidst a cyclical downturn in flash memory production, Samsung did not hesitate to launch an enormous $10 billion production line for memory chips. Besides NAND flash memory for the growing number of smartphones and tablets, the fab will be making DRAM with the new 20nm technology, which will place it ahead of most competition. Samsung already has 41.6% of the world's DRAM market, and the new line might boost that number even further ahead of Toshiba.
Apple, which is one of its biggest customers, however, is trying to diversify its suppliers as wide as it can, since it is in a state of legal war with Samsung. So far the memory chips inside its gadgets were supplied by Samsung, Toshiba and Elpida, and Cupertino is reportedly trying to shift the bulk of orders to the last two. Apple prepaid about $7.8 billion worth of parts to Samsung this year, but for the next it is obviously aiming to wiggle out of that overreliance, moving from Samsung to TSMC for its next generation A6 and A7 chipsets production as well.
The $10.2 billion Samsung investment in the new flash memory production line will be made over the course of next year, when the company is also expected to move to the 10nm method, which will increase density, and allow for memory with even larger capacity in next year's mobile devices. The rumored 32GB memory in the Samsung Galaxy III now doesn't sound that far-fetched, just like the alleged HD Super AMOLED Plus display started being plausible the other day.