Unconfirmed: Apple Orders 100 Million 8GB Chips for New Handhelds

DigiTimes is reporting that Apple has placed a massive order for 100 million 8GB flash storage chips, mostly from Samsung, that will then be combined into larger capacities. What could this purchase indicate? The quantity, twice the size of last year's order, is likely to make such chips scarce in the market, which could hurt competitors like Nokia and Sony. It's a pretty plausible rumour, as far as rumours go: Apple will probably announce new flash-based handhelds, especially the iPhone and iPod touch updates, in June, which isn't far off. It's a big increase, but if Apple is introducing, say, a larger version, that'll use a lot more of the 8GB chips than smaller capacities. We're filing this one under "Probable." [DigiTimes, image courtesy of MacBlogz]