Two new developments will result in much lower NAND prices from Samsung, the largest producer.
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Although Samsung said it would seek ways to reduce the gap of supply price between Apple and domestic MP3 player makers to less than 10 percent, other MP3 manufacturers say that Samsung may not offer the Apple's price to them, which may lead to an investigation by South Korea's government over antitrust allegations. According to the report, Samsung will consider accepting a joint order for flash memory of the MP3 player manufactures, but the announcement may not be enough to prevent South Korea's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) from launching an investigation if it finds out any sign of unfair deals between Samsung and Apple. "Many in the industry argue that Samsung has undermined fair competition in the market by supplying NAND flash to Apple at half the price it charges to domestic MP3 player makers. Rep. Kim Hyun-mee of the ruling Uri Party cited iSuppli, a research firm, that the price of 2GB NAND memory for Apple Nano was $54, which is half the market price. Samsung is cornering domestic MP3 brands by doing this, she added."
Other Korean MP3 player makers argue that Samsung should deliver enough as late as early November to allow them to bring products to market in time for the lucrative December holiday season. However, they are skeptical about whether Samsung would supply the memory by the time at an appropriate price, according to the report. "They argued the problem is that Samsung didn�t reveal the supply price for Apple, which make it impossible for them to check whether Samsung really narrow the price gap to 10 percent."
Samsung To Lower Price Of Memory Chips October 7, 2005 3:39 p.m. EST Niladri Sekhar Nath - All Headline News Foreign Correspondent
Seoul, South Korea (AHN) � Leading computer memory chip manufacturer Samsung Electronics Co. meets with domestic digital music player makers to supply its flash memory chips at a lower price, reports Asia Pulse.
The meeting comes amid allegations that Samsung has sold flash memory chips, used in MP3 music players for data storage, to Apple Computer Inc. of the United States with a large discount.
Samsung is also facing criticism over the alleged unfair business practice from the local MP3 player manufacturers as Apple begins selling its latest flash memory-based iPod nano last month.
"I know that we met the local MP3 player makers yesterday to talk about flash memory price, but no particular things have been discussed," Asia Pulse quoted Samsung spokesman Shin Young-joon as saying.
According to Asia Pulse, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy and an association of South Korean MP3 player makers named the Korea Portable Audio Commission have taken part in the meeting.