Rumor: Apple said to be among corporations bidding to acquire Toshiba’s NAND unit

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Date: Monday, April 3rd, 2017, 05:31
Category: Amazon, Google, Hardware, Rumor, Samsung

Apple may just be in a bidding war for Toshiba’s NAND memory unit.

A report from the Korean Herald states that Apple, Amazon, Google and others are in a war for Toshiba’s NAND memory division, which accounts for 20 percent of the NAND market.

There are reported to be 10 bidders in total, although specific price points and bid amounts have yet to be made public. According to a separate report, however, U.S. equity form Silver Lake and chipmaker Broadcom offered 2 trillion yen, or $18 billion, for the business.

It had been previously reported that Apple suppliers TSMC and Foxconn had teamed up to attempt to acquire Toshiba’s NAND business. The current report marks the first instance in which Apple itself seems be trying to acquire it. It’s possible, however, that Foxconn and TSMC are negotiating on behalf of Apple or that local media has confused Foxconn’s efforts with Apple individually.

At present, the “most attractive bidder”, per the current report, is Western Digital, which already owns a sizable portion of the NAND market. Foxconn is said to be considered the “least attractive” option given that Toshiba and the Japanese government do not want to sell to a Chinese company due to “technology leak concerns.”

Apple or Foxconn’s acquisition of Toshiba’s NAND division would give Apple an advantage over Samsung, which is currently a premiere entity in the worldwide NAND market. The move would allow Apple to further reduce its reliance on other companies and bring some of its NAND flash needs in house.

Currently, Apple relies on flash storage from both Samsung and Toshiba for its various products. For example, teardowns of this year’s iPhone 7 Plus revealed Toshiba-supplied NAND flash while the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar relies on Samsung-supplied flash storage.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via 9to5Mac, the Korean Herald and Nikkei

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