Investors believe that Toshiba unwittingly handed Micron Technology
According to reporting by The Wall Street Journal, a plant charged with manufacturing NAND flash for smart devices such as the iPad and iPhone suffered a 0.07-second power disruption that backup systems couldn't fully account for.
Normal operations are expected to resume tomorrow, the Journal reports, but lost productivity could result in a 20% cut in Toshiba's NAND shipments to customers over the next two months. That's where Micron comes in.
Samsung and Toshiba dominate the market for NAND flash, but Micron and production partner Intel
Both are already Micron customers, but the prospect of additional Apple business has to be most tantalizing. Apple pre-bought $500 million worth of NAND flash from Toshiba last year. If the company proves unable to meet demand over the short term, the Mac maker may need to find alternative suppliers.
"A major drop in Toshiba's output could make SanDisk supply constrained over the near term," Eric wrote in commenting on the news. I think he's right; I also think Micron offers the better opportunity for investors.
Thanks to the iPad, iPhone, and a bevy of other smart devices, NAND is an important and fast-growing market. Neither Apple nor any of its competitors can afford a slowdown in shipments for long. My guess is this experience may get them thinking about further diversifying their supplier lists, and Micron is sure to be one they consider.
Now it's your turn to weigh in. Is Micron Technology poised to profit from Toshiba's misfortune? Please vote in the poll below and then leave a comment to explain your thinking.