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Apple now No. 1 in flash memory consumption

According to a market research firm, iSuppli, Apple has surpassed HP and other equipment manufacturers to become the world’s largest consumer of semiconductor technology. Apple can thank this victory to the popularity of its mobile devices.

As ComputerWorld reports, Apple has surpassed HP and other manufacturers to become number one in flash memory consumption, all thanks to the popularity of Apple’s mobile devices. “Apple’s surge to leadership in semiconductor spending in 2010 was driven by the overwhelming success of its wireless products, namely the iPhone and the iPad. These products consume enormous quantities of NAND flash memory, which is also found in the Apple iPod. Because of this, Apple in 2010 was the world’s No. 1 purchaser of NAND flash,” said iSuppli analyst Wenlie Ye.

Apple may be in the top five manufacturers that purchase microprocessors, but it is NAND flash that gave Apple the top spot. “For Apple, which right now spends 60% of its semiconductor purchasing budget on wireless products, processors take the passenger seat when compared to NAND flash,” said Ye.

NAND flash is used to make solid-state drives (SSDs) and is a nonvolatile storage medium. That means when it’s powered off, it continues to retain data, unlike DRAM.

“Apple’s strength in hardware sales lies in its device and media ecosystem — very Apple product is connected through iTunes/iOS and is synergetic with all other Apple products. As a result, committed users of the Apple ecosystem derive more value from each additional Apple device they buy, and users have little interest in leaving the Apple realm,” iSuppli said.

According to iSuppli, Apple’s iPad was leading in a five-fold surge in NAND flash memory as consumers gobble up the tablet in increasing numbers.

So what is Apple’s secret? Apple leverages each device to sell other devices. In other words, people who buy an iPhone, tend to buy other Apple products like the iPad.

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