Apple Flash Storage Supplier Kioxia Reports NAND Contamination Issue, Warns of Price Spike

Kioxia, a key supplier of Apple’s flash storage, has reported a major contamination issue stemming from its production facilities. This incident, which resulted in the loss of flash storage, may result in a spike in cost of roughly 10-percent.

Apple utilizes the NAND chips supplied by Kioxia (formally Toshiba) and integrates them into the iPhone 13, iPad Pro. M1 Pro MacBook Pro, and M1 Max MacBook Pro.

As reported by The Verge, Kioxia suffered contamination within its facility and lost an estimated 6.5 exabytes (6.5 million gigabytes) of flash storage. As the company takes its first steps to recovery, pricing could be scaled up to 10-percent higher, according to market research firm TrendForce.

As of now, it’s unclear how this will directly affect Apple customers. It’s unlikely that potential consumers looking to purchase Apple’s premium devices will see prices fluctuate as Apple is more likely to eat any and all additional costs to secure its flash storage. That said, the contamination issue could result in a recall of some products. However, the scale of such a recall remains to be seen.

In addition to Apple, PlayStation 5 owners may want to monitor the situation as well. Kioxia is closely partnered with Western Digital. Together, the two make up roughly 30-percent of the NAND market. Western Digital is widely considered the go-to for upgradable storage for the PlayStation 5. The WD Black SN850 has become a popular choice for users as it includes its own heatsink, a mandatory component for the expandable SSD storage option.

Western Digital stated that it is “working closely with its joint venture partner, Kioxia, to implement necessary measures that will restore the facilities to normal operational status as quickly as possible.” It remains to be seen whether this issue could have short term effects to the market or will drive long term scarcity.