Apple slows down SSD technology

The move from conventional hard-drives to flashy flash drives is being slowed by Apple and its glorious but useless iPad.

Hard drive makers have warned that if the iPad is a success it could cause huge problems of supply for the technology and effectively kill it off.

Apple already sucks up a third of total NAND flash output, and could tighten supply again with the potential success of the iPad, Digitimes claims.

One of the reasons that NAND flash has failed to take off is that it is jolly expensive. NAND flash suppliers were still able to reverse the oversupply and stabilize prices by cutting back their production.

But with the iPad likely to grab most memory supplies, prices may increase causing higher prices for SSDs, the sources said.

Even with technology improvements, such as 30nm-class or even sub-30nm processes, NAND flash prices are still on the rise for 2010.

The NAND flash industry’s transition to 20nm process technology is unlikely to take place until the second half of 2011 which will mean that the flash prices will fall.

However the future of the technology is not in toys being made by Jobs’ Mob. IDC said it believes the largest market opportunity for SSDs is in PCs. However the only way that is viable is if the price comes down.

The world is divided as to whether the iPad will take off or not. As far as the technology is concerned it is a pile of dog doo that should be scraped off the foot on the kerb of public opinion. However the media hype for the product is such that Apple just might get away with it.