Reports are popping up that the global shortage of DRAM and NAND is going to get even worse, particularly if Apple's upcoming iPhone 8 is highly successful. News agency Reuters claims hardware makers around the globe are hoarding chips and are entering long-term contracts at elevated prices to ensure they get enough supply. The report mainly focuses on the smartphone market but it also has implications for the pricing of DRAM and NAND flash memory for the PC market.
A chip supplier source told Reuters a handful of clients have moved to 6-month supply agreements, accepting higher prices than the customary quarterly or monthly deals, to make sure they get enough memory chips for their products.
"The problem will be more acute for the NAND market, where the iPhone remains a critical source of demand given the huge sales volumes and recent moves to increase storage capacity on the device," said the source, who declined to be identified as he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Meaningful new supply is unlikely to enter the market until 2018.