A number of industry officials have harshly criticized Apple for allegedly manipulating the NAND flash memory market.
According to the Korea Times, Club Cupertino routinely "suppresses" flash memory prices by over-ordering mass amounts of chips from various semiconductor manufacturers.
"Apple should certainly be blamed for deteriorating the supply and demand cycle in the global NAND flash market," an anonymous senior industry official told the Korea Times. ??
"Apple has asked Korean semiconductor makers to produce a certain amount of chips for its digital products, only to actually purchase a smaller volume eventually. The company doesn't make immediate purchases, but waits until chip prices to fall to the level the company has internally targeted."
A second industry official confirmed Apple's NAND purchasing strategy.
"Samsung and Hynix both provide chips to Apple and have less of an edge in deciding prices and volume. Apple's strategy could hurt the industry's health," said the official.
It should be noted that the struggling chip industry had hoped Apple would significantly increase its NAND flash memory chip purchases to bolster the production of its iPhone and iPod lines.