Report: 2GB & 4GB shuffle's Coming June/August

Apple Computer will launch two and four gigabyte (GB) versions of its flash-based iPod shuffle this June and August, the online Asian technology Web site DigiTimes reported Friday.

Sources told the online publication Samsung Electronics and Toshiba are "aggressively planning to ramp up their output of 8Gbit NAND flash chips" that will be used in "2GB and 4GB versions" of the shuffle that will be announced "this June and August", the report said.

Samsung Electronics was reported to have started volume production of 8Gbit NAND flash memory in April of this year. Samsung Electronics has been slashing the price of its 8Gbit NAND flash memory since the beginning of the year, with the original price of US$58 expected to eventually fall to $30, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported earlier this week.

In addition, Samsung has been lowering prices for all of its high-density parts, including 2Gbit, 4Gbit and 8Gbit NAND flash memory, with daily prices falling as much as 3%, the paper said. The company also expects to roll out a 16Gbit part in the second half of this year.

Toshiba stated it will begin producing 8Gbit NAND flash memory this summer.

Apple currently offers 512 megabyte and 1GB iPod Shuffle models.

Apple refused to comment on the report.