Wedesday’s fire in SK Hynix‘s plant in China is a big setback for the South Korean company – but it may prove to be a fillip for the D-Ram industry, as the blaze will reduce chip output and boost chip prices in the short term.
Tech companies may be having a torrid time of it lately, with everyone from IBM to Apple disappointing investors recently.
Except for TSMC, that is. Booming demand for mobile gadgets, especially in China, helped the Taiwanese chipmaker beat expectations last week, and its stock has been rising ever since.
Who needs whom the most? Of the many battles being waged between Apple and Samsung, that over the supply relationship is perhaps the most intriguing. Apple is trying to move away from the South Korean company for its component sourcing. But Samsung appears ready to apply pressure, too.
The Chosun Ilbo, South Korea’s most-read daily, reported this week that that Samsung had raised the price of application processors sold to Apple by 20 per cent, while removing an executive in charge of a key Apple-related business.
Following Apple’s landmark US victory over Samsung last month in their high-profile technology disputes, rumours are rampant over their sourcing business relationship.
The rumours centre on Apple’s alleged diversification of its supply of microchips. Several media outlets reported on Friday that Apple dropped Samsung from its list of memory chip suppliers for the first batches of the much-anticipated iPhone 5, which is expected to be launched on Wednesday.
It was not as if the bankruptcy of Japan’s Elpida, the world’s third-biggest D-ram chip maker, was totally unexpected. Yukio Sakamoto, its president, warned two weeks ago that debt talks with creditors had stalled.
Still, investors were shocked when it actually happened on Monday, and nowhere was this more apparent than in the Taiwan stock market, which only resumed trading on Wednesday after a four-day long weekend.