Taiwan's DigiTimes, an online trade news site, reported that Apple recently placed large mobile dynamic random access memory (DRAM) orders with Elpida's 12-inch plant in Hiroshima, Japan, securing around half the facilities total chip production. It cited unnamed industry sources in its report, which hit shares of major chip suppliers to Apple. SK hynix shares closed almost 9 percent lower at a 20-week low - the biggest one-day drop in nine months. Samsung, the world's biggest DRAM maker, tumbled 6.2 percent to a 9-week low of 1.23 million won ($1,100) - the stock's biggest daily fall in nearly four years.
"It looks like Apple doesn't want to see Samsung and hynix dominate the chip market. Apple wants to maintain its bargaining power by keeping Elpida running," said Choi Do-yeon, an analyst at LIG Investment & Securities.
DigiTimes has a spotty record with Apple rumors so it remains unclear whether there is any validity to the story.