Transcend chairman Peter Shu told DigiTimes that NAND flash prices will remain stable in the first half of the year, but that the second half is unpredictable:
The markets for smartphones and tablet PCs will significantly boost NAND flash demand in the second half of 2011, and prop up chip prices, Shu indicated. However, major NAND-chip vendors such as Samsung Electronics are set to ramp up new capacity during the same period, raising concerns about some downward pressure on chip prices, Shu said.
Some industry observers have expressed worries that rising demand for internal flash memory used in smartphones and tablets may erode the market for external memory. Shu, however, believes that demand for both built-in and external memory in phones and other consumer electronics devices is equally strong. If a tablet PC is equipped with 32GB of NAND flash memory, the device will likely feature a card slot for external storage in order to attract buyers, Shu said.