The continued success of the iPad is expected to drive worldwide demand in NAND flash memory through 2015, says industry analyst group IHS (formerly iSuppli).
The iPad accounted for 78 percent of global gigabyte shipments of NAND flash memory in 2011, according to the analysts, down from 92 percent the year before; the year in which the iPad was all but the only contender in the tablet market.
Despite rising competition from rivals such as Samsung and Motorola, Apple will continue to drive the memory market this year with an estimated 72 percent share of gigabyte shipments. By 2015, the iPad will account for the majority of tablet NAND flash memory purchasing.
But with the iPad's popularity, along with the vast memory in increments the device comes in, analysts estimate that the average NAND density of the iPad will grow from 9.4 percent in 2012 to 33.8 gigabytes per unit.
This compares to non-iPad tablets coming in at 20.2 gigabytes in 2012, making up just 3.2 percent of the total NAND demand. IHS notes that non-Apple tablet demand has been "tepid".
NAND flash memory shipments will rise to 16.3 billion gigabytes by 2015 from 1.6 billion gigabytes in 2011, representing a 10 percent rise. By 2015, tablets will account for nearly 17 percent of global NAND flash memory shipments, almost doubling the number from 9 percent in 2011.
"While the media tablet category has grown to be a major demand driver for NAND, success has been uneven across the field, with Apple’s iPad line driving the majority of NAND consumption for the segment," the analysts note.
The demand for business and consumer tablets will inevitably rise as the post-PC world comes to fruition. While Windows 8 slates will be make or break for Microsoft, arch-rival Apple already has a solid in-road to the tablet market. At the launch of the new iPad, chief executive Tim Cook said that 76 percent of Apple's revenue comes from iOS devices.