- Summary: PC makers are starting to adopt flash memory in PCs. Flash offers faster data access than hard drives but retains data when the power is turned off unlike DRAM. Sony's latest Vaio hand-held computer released in Japan uses flash resulting in 13% longer battery life, 3-6x faster boot-up time and better resistance to shock. Samsung began selling a flash-based handheld and notebook PC last month in Korea. Adoption of flash into PCs has been aided by falling prices -- halving every 12 onths -- and improved manufacturing yeilds, particularly by Samsung and Toshiba which together account for over 70% of the market. IDC projects that the flash market will grow 88% to almost $20 billion in 2010 from last year. Hard drive manufacturers Samsung and Seagate are also developing hybrid flash-hard drives.
- Comment on related stocks/ETFs: Bullish for Samsung and Toshiba, but neither trade in the US. Incrementally bearish for the hard drive vendors Seagate (STX), Maxtor (MXO) and Western Digital (WDC).
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