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Apple Expected To Bulk Up iPhone Storage

The company's bulk purchase of NAND flash chips leads to speculation that the next iPhone will have increased storage to accommodate new features like video recording.
Apple is buying up large quantities of flash memory that will be used to bulk up the next generation of iPhones, according to reports.

DigiTimes said the company has ordered 100 million NAND flash chips, mostly from Samsung Electronics, reportedly twice the amount Apple ordered last year. The move indicates that the iPhone 3G could be getting a storage increase up to 32 GB later this year.

Apple's iPhone 3G has been a major hit, and its App Store has attracted more than 800 million downloads from iPhone and iPod Touch users. But iPhone sales are slowly tapering off, as many fans already purchased the hardware and are under a two-year contract. Additionally, Apple is seeing increased competition as rivals roll out their own app stores, and Palm is creating a buzz with its Pre smartphone and webOS.

Many industry watchers are expecting Apple to introduce a new iPhone this year, most likely during this year's Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Apple tends to refresh its lineup of products every year to goose sales, and it could follow that pattern with the iPhone. Expanding the storage seems like a reasonable evolution for a new iPhone, and it could point to new capabilities as well.

Apple unveiled the iPhone 3.0 software last month and it included new features like copy and paste, peer-to-peer networking, and new business models for apps. After digging around the 3.0 beta, developers have found signs that indicate the next-generation iPhone could have video recording capabilities, which would make increased storage a much-needed addition.

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