Unconfirmed: Apple Orders 100 Million 8GB Chips for New Handhelds

DigiTimes is reporting that Apple has placed a massive order for 100 million 8GB flash storage chips, mostly from Samsung, that will then be combined into larger capacities. What could this purchase indicate? The quantity, twice the size of last year's order, is likely to make such chips scarce in the market, which could hurt competitors like Nokia and Sony. It's a pretty plausible rumor, as far as rumors go: Apple will probably announce new flash-based handhelds, especially the iPhone and iPod touch updates, in June, which isn't far off. It's a big increase, but if Apple is introducing, say, a larger version, that'll use a lot more of the 8GB chips than smaller capacities. We're filing this one under "Probable." [DigiTimes, image courtesy of MacBlogz]

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My guess is larger capacity. I don't think a new iPhone is going to sell quite like the iPhone 3G did.

For one, the iPhone 3G has penetrated the largest portion of its possible market already, and while there will constantly be a steady stream of people jumping ship to another carrier or simply upgrading phones after their contracts end, I don't think AT&T or many of the international carriers are going to jump at subsidizing a brand new iPhone again after their customers have had the 3G for only a year. I'm sure Rogers for one wouldn't do it, although I've heard rumors that their bound to an agreement to allow iPhone customers to upgrade to newer iPhones annually. Guess we'll have to wait and see. I, for one, really hope that's true.