Digitimes reports today on the state of falling NAND Flash prices.  Specifically, the price of a 16Gbit MLC segment is expected to fall below $5 and continue dropping through the rest of the quarter.

This news has an effect on Apple in a few ways.  First, the MacBook Air has a 64Gbyte NAND Flash hard drive option.  If Digitimes is to be believed, the 64Gbytes of NAND Flash should cost about $200.  Memory controllers and other parts of the drive cost more of course.  Keep in mind that SSD Memory uses a high quality NAND memory with more read/writes than standard Flash Memory so prices may not directly correlate.  If memory prices are falling across the board, Apple will likely be able to drop its (currently $1000) prices and/or order higher capacity drives (128GByte) in the coming months.

More importantly… this news also has a strong effect on the iPod business.  When the latest generation of iPod products were released in September, the price of 16Gbits of multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash was around $15 or about 3 times the current prices.   Therefore, Apple could probably lower the prices on its NAND Flash based iPods (Shuffle, Nano, Touch) and iPhone to make up for this discrepancy.

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