Since the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus are expected to be minor updates of the current iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus in terms of design, people are taking more interest in the storage options of the devices for one good reason to upgrade this year. And as the launch and release dates for the Apple smartphones draw near, new reports are reiterating what earlier rumors claimed that there is going to be a 256GB iPhone variant this year.

According to MacRumors, industry sources have come out to indirectly confirm the previous reports on the alleged leaked storage options for the iPhone 7 handsets from China. These industry sources are claiming that NAND flash memory chip suppliers are increasing their prices because of the high demand for the 256GB variant of the chip. The demand is said to be skyrocketing that prices are expected to soar until the fourth quarter of this year.

Apple is a major influencer on the pricing of NAND memory because its iPhones are using the technology for internal storage. Last year, Apple was considered the top consumer of NAND chips after having bought 15 percent of the total NAND supply in the market for its iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. It is not clear yet how much percentage of the NAND memory supply Apple gobbling  up for its upcoming handsets. But since industry sources have stated that the demand for the 256GB is high, then it’s already a given that Apple is very likely behind this upsurge.

The statement made by the industry sources comes a month after the Wall Street Journal learned that Apple ditched the 16GB base model for the 32GB storage base model of the iPhone 7 smartphones. At the time, it was also rumored that the official storage variants of the iPhone 7 family would be 32GB, 128GB and 256GB.

Apple fans have long been asking for bigger storage options for the iPhones, since the Cupertino giant’s smartphones do not have microSD card slots for memory expansion. Hence, the 32GB base model is now seen as Apple’s response to the request of its loyal customers who want bigger storage for the most affordable variant of the upcoming iPhone 7.

As for the 256GB model, GSM Arena says it is still not clear if this storage variant would only be applicable to the larger iPhone 7 Plus, or if it is going to be present in both the smaller iPhone 7 model and the Plus variant. At this point, the only plausible thing is for the iPhone 7 Plus to get the 256GB treatment, since its dual-lens camera system would entail larger photos that would also require larger storage.

Meanwhile, earlier today, Mac Otakara sources have come out to reveal that Apple will only be releasing a standard iPhone 7 and a larger iPhone 7 Plus without the rumored iPhone 7 Pro.