Flash Memory Order Hints At 32GB Apple iPhone

Rumors that Apple is preparing a 32GB iPhone are heating up as a result of reports that indicate Apple has purchased a large quantity of flash memory chips. According to a DigiTimes report, Apple ordered 100 million 1 gigabit NAND Flash chips, mainly from Samsung Electronics. In fact, Apple has scooped up so many chips that some smaller players are worried about a shortage.

It is possible Apple could recombine these chips during the manufacturing process to create 16GB and 32GB storing capabilities for new iPhone models. To help put things in perspective, 100 million 8Gb chips would be enough to produce 12.5 million 8GB iPhones or around 3 million 32GB devices. We don’t yet know if the chips that Apple purchased were finalized chip packages or bare memory chips that can be stacked for higher density.

The reports of Apple’s recent memory purchase make many people wonder what Apple will do with the flash chips. Given that the chips are typically used to build 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB devices, Apple’s purchase fuels rumors that the company is working on an iPhone with additional memory (likely a 32GB model) to complement its 8GB and 16GB iPhone 3G phones which are available today.

Rumors that Apple is working on a new iPhone have been circulating for the past few months. Many industry analysts expect some form of new iPhone hardware to be launched in June at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). A new product announcement at WWDC would fall in line with Apple’s history of refreshing products every year in order to increase sales.

In addition incorporating Apple’s recently unveiled iPhone OS 3.0 software, the new phone has been rumored to have video recording capabilities and a higher resolution camera (3.2 megapixels has been mentioned). Video recording capabilities and higher resolution photos would increase a user’s need for additional storage, so the pieces definitely line up. However, it’s also possible Apple could use the NAND flash chips in other products such as the iPod nano and Shuffle as well. At this point, it’s not 100% clear as to how Apple intends to use the chips.

Tags:  Apple, iPhone, rumors