Prudential Equity Group analyst Jesse Tortora reckons that Apple is planning to ditch hard drives in favour of flash memory in its iPods.

He claims that the company intends to offer an all-flash iPod range by the end of the year.

Am I missing something? Flash memory might be about to top 16GB or maybe even 32GB this year and while this is great for the iPod nano and the iPhone, why would Apple ditch 80GB or more hard drives in favour of that?

And surely putting two flash drives into an iPod to give it the capacity a hard drives offers isn't going to give Apple any of the benefits that flash might hold over hard drives...

And the other thing is that I was speaking to someone from Hitachi recently who said that hard drives are going to continue to increase in capacity to such an extent that flash really isn't going to ever catch up...

Generally, given Apple's understandable refusal to talk about future products it can be interesting to read what the analysts say - after all they are supposed to be pretty clued up on the industry (they are paid enough to be anyway) but sometimes you wonder where they get their ideas from...

Maybe I'm wrong and Apple will switch to flash... I guess we'll have to wait and see.