Applied Materials: Tablet PCs Could Stretch Flash Supplies
A5:20 PM ET 5/19/10 | Dow Jones
By Jerry A. DiColo
Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Tablet PCs, such as Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) iPad, could "seriously stretch" the supply of flash memory chips, said Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) Chief Executive Mike Splinter.
"The capacity is quite stretched right now," Splinter said, speaking during a conference call to discuss Applied's fiscal second-quarter results.
He said that sales this year of 7 million to 10 million tablet PCs, including the iPad and competing products, could force flash makers to start adding manufacturing capacity.
Applied Materials, which sells tools used to make chips, reported Wednesday its fiscal second-quarter profit and revenue that topped its earlier expectations. The company, which has recovered quickly from the recession, helped by PC and mobile phone demand, said flash memory-makers have lagged in expanding their operations.
In the last quarter, Applied said demand came mostly from semiconductor foundries and makers of DRAM memory.