Good News For SanDisk: Toshiba's Sold Out of NAND, Turning Away Business

| About: Western Digital (WDC)

In news with positive implications for SanDisk (SNDK), EETimes.com is reporting that Toshiba is unable to meet demand for its NAND flash memory devices and is sold out until December. The story attributes the comment to Shozo Saito, president and CEO of Toshiba’s semiconductor unit.

According to EETimes, Saito said that the company can only meet 70 percent of its order demand from customers, and is turning other business away. The high demand reflects strength in the embedded flash market, for products like MP3 players, USB drives and other products. Saito says Toshiba is less focusd on the flash card market. Saito said worldwide NAND bit growth should reach 162% this year, slowing a bit to 120% next year and 115% in 2009. Saito prediced the overall IC market could grow 5% this year and 10%-12% next year.

As the story notes, a joint venture between Toshiba and SanDisk called Flash Alliance recently opened a new 300 mm fab near Nagoya, Japan.

Paul Coster, an analyst at J.P. Morgan
, comments in a note that “what’s good for Toshiba is good for SanDisk.” Coster said SanDisk likely will direct its NAND Flash supply from the JV to its highest margin retail products and markets.

Also Thursday: SanDisk announced plans to sell solid-state drives through system integrators, and also announced the opening of its first production facility in China.

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