Research firm Gartner has again suggested what we have heard repeatedly – NAND flash supplies can’t keep up with demand. NAND is showing up everywhere, though media players are clearly leading the charge. Gartner predicts that sales of media players will jump from 134.5 million units last year to 187.7 million units this year. With that growth in mind, they predict a NAND shortage of 5.8% in the fourth quarter of this year and 2.6% in the first quarter of this year. Factories are changing production from DRAM to NAND to try to keep up, but it likely won’t be enough in the short term.
The situation could get even worse if Apple were to release a high capacity flash-based player. Their flash offerings currently top out at 4GB, but a unit with a much larger capacity, likely developed alongside Samsung, has been long rumored and would instantly be a huge seller.