Apple, Amazon and Google among companies bidding for Toshiba's NAND unit
Apple, Amazon, and Google are among the 10 bidders competing to acquire Toshiba’s semiconductor unit, which accounts for 20 percent of the NAND market. Other competitors include US private equity firm Silver Lake, US chipmaker Broadcom, NAND flash manufacturer Western Digital, and Apple suppliers Foxconn and TSMC.
Reports say that the frontrunner in this race is Western Digital, the dominant player in the NAND market, while Foxconn seems the least likely to win out, as Toshiba and the Japanese government will not be pleased about the idea of a Chinese company getting their hands on all of that intellectual property, citing “technology leak concerns.”
If Apple or Foxconn were to end up with Toshiba’s NAND unit, it would secure Apple’s advantage over Samsung, who is another major player in the NAND market. Apple would be able to meet more of its flash storage needs without relying on outside companies, an idea that seems in line with Apple’s current objectives.
Currently, their iPhone 7 Plus uses Toshiba’s NAND flash while their new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar uses flash storage from Samsung. With the price tag for Toshiba’s NAND unit potentially soaring into the tens of billions of dollars, this would mark a substantial acquisition for Apple.