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Have you noticed how cheap NAND-powered memory devices have gotten? Flash drives and SSDs aren't quite a dime a dozen these days, but they're significantly cheaper than they have been in the past. While you and I may appreciate the decline in costs, low pricing is putting the pinch on NAND manufacturers, and Toshiba is cutting its NAND production by about 30 percent to compensate. (And drive up prices, of course.)
The press release was fairly short and sweet, with most of the juicy info coming in a single paragraph:
Oversupply of NAND flash memory in the retail market, for application in USB memories and memory cards, has resulted in continual price declines since the beginning of this year. Toshiba has responded by adjusting shipments to the retail market since June and from today will reduce the operating rate at the (Yokkaichi Operation plant in Mie Prefecture, Japan) in order to adjust output. This move will help to reduce inventory in the market and improve the overall balance between supply and demand.
Toshiba expects things to pick back up later in the year thanks to a rise in demand for smartphones and SSDs, however. That being said, Toshiba's "balance between supply and demand" will likely drive up prices for NAND flash in the future.
The funny part? According to a June report by IHS iSuppli, Toshiba had the best Q1 of any NAND supplier, with sales up 19.2 percent compared to the last quarter of 2011, to $1.71 billion. That industry-leading performance boosted the company's stake to over a third of the overall NAND flash market.
"In contrast, the overall NAND flash market suffered a 1 percent sequential decline in revenue, and all the other suppliers experienced sales decreases, most by double-digit percentages," IHS iSuppli reports. Maybe the industry woes have caught up to Toshiba?