Samsung’s market cap took a $10 billion hit on Wednesday following a report that Apple will contract Japan-based Elpida, a different chip maker, for DRAM chips for its next-generation iPhone and iPad. The report was originally published by DigiTimes, which said Micron is currently interested in scooping up Elpida, which filed for bankruptcy in early 2012. Samsung typically provides the DRAM for Apple’s products and at least one analyst thinks Apple could switch to Elpida in order to ensure Samsung doesn’t dominate the chip market. “Apple wants to maintain its bargaining power by keeping Elpida running,” Choi Do-yeon, an analyst at LIG Investment & Securities, told Reuters. Another analyst believes that a Micro/Elpida merger could be a huge threat for Samsung and another firm, SK Hynix.
“Samsung shares were already facing pressure since offshore investors began cutting back on risk during the latest streak of sell-offs, but the news surrounding Elpida was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” an analyst with Hyundai Securities explained to Reuters.