Toshiba Launches 64GB Flash Drive, Possibly Bound for an iPhone Near You

If you have a 64GB iPod touch and you read this headline, you might be thinking, “What gives? Isn’t this already a no-brainer?” but the fact is, before Toshiba announced its 64GB drive today, there was no way to cram that much storage into the iPhone in its existing configuration. The 64GB touch features two 32GB modules, whereas the iPhone can only support one, since it needs all the extra space for its various wireless radios.

The new chip is a single-package solution, comprised of 16 32Gbit (4GB) chips combined on a 32nm platform. In case anyone out there needs help with the math, this announcement also paves the way for a 128GB iPod touch, which would finally bring it almost up to par with its aging disc-based predecessor, the iPod classic.

Toshiba doesn’t mention Apple (s aapl) by name in its product announcement regarding the new high-capacity flash modules, but it does mention that they are “designed for application in a wide range of digital consumer products, including smartphones, mobile phones, netbooks and digital video cameras.” It seems Apple would make for a great higher profile customer to use the new tech in its products in those categories.

It’s not completely beyond the realm of possibility to imagine Toshiba’s new storage modules making their way into Apple’s much talked-about tablet device, either. If indeed we will see the tablet in 2010, many now expect it to arrive either in Spring or sometime during the second quarter of 2010, which does fit with the proposed production roll-out of the 64GB flash device. Samples of the new module are shipping now, with mass production expected to begin in Q1 2010.

If Apple’s device is keeping a slim profile, as recent potentially leaked video seems to suggest, and if it owes more to its iPod and iPhone brethren than to the Mac line, it stands to reason that Apple would opt for this kind of storage option over a more traditional HDD or SSD. If the device is indeed the multimedia wunderkind many blogs and analysts are predicting it will be, I’d probably pay extra for additional storage configuration options that would allow me to bump up the storage capacity to 128GB, too, which would be an easy option to include using the new modules.

While it was inevitable that 64GB flash modules would come to pass, it’s nice to have confirmation that they’ve in fact arrived, and well in time for the launch of the next iPhone revision this upcoming Spring. Tablet or not, Apple’s smartphone at least is poised to outpace the competition in terms of onboard storage by an even greater margin than it currently enjoys.