Apple announced today that it will pre-pay about $1.25 billion to several Flash chip makers so as to secure supply for flash memory chips through 2010. Among them, Hynix, Intel, Micro, Samsung and Toshiba.
“We want to be able to produce as many of our wildly popular iPods as the market demands,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO.
The company recently announced it had dropped a giant deal with Samsung and rumours that it was seeking for several flash chips suppliers were echoed over the Internet by analysts.
The iPod shuffle was te first flash memory based product announced by the company early this year while the iPod mini, which was based on a 1″ hard drive was replaced by the flash-based iPod nano in early September.
The latest move confirms Apple’s commitment to the flash memory based devices market. The 30GB and 60GB iPods are not likely to be replaced by a flash based product in the near future though, as flash memory modules don’t compete very well with hard disks for higher storage capacities at the moment.