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Spansion leapfrogs Intel in NOR flash market

Posted: 10 Apr 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:NOR flash market  mobile phone flash  NAND flash market 

According to market research firm iSuppli Corp., Spansion Inc. has leapfrogged Intel Corp. to take the lead in the NOR flash market.

Spansion outpaced last year's overall growth in NOR flash, racking up a 35 per cent increase in sales to Rs.7,941.60 crore ($1.8 billion). The overall market grew by 16.4 per cent to hit Rs.26,913.20 crore ($6.1 billion).

That makes Spansion No.1, with 29.9 per cent of the market, in flash sold into mobile phones. Intel is No.2 with 26.1 per cent, followed by STMicroelectronics at 15.7 per cent, Samsung Electronics at 11.2 per cent and Toshiba Corp. at 6.5 per cent.

"The major factor behind Spansion's impressive gains was its increasing sales to top-tier handset makers and market share increases in Japan and the Asia/Pacific region," wrote Mark DeVoss, a senior memory analyst for iSuppli in a recent report.

In 2005, Intel was the NOR flash king, with 28.9 per cent of the market. But last year sales to the mobile phone market rose only 5.1 per cent for the year to reach Rs.7,059.20 crore ($1.6 billion), up from Rs.6,618 crore ($1.5 billion) in 2005, iSuppli said.

"Intel's woes in the mobile phone flash market are believed to be related to capacity issues that affected deliveries primarily to Asian mobile phone makers," DeVoss said.

STMicroelectronics made steady gains, too. Revenue rose by 25.7 per cent to Rs.4,231.11 crore ($959 million) in 2006, up from Rs.3,366.36 crore ($763 million) in 2005, DeVoss said. It tacked on a market share increase of 1.2 percentage points.

Spansion's better sales boosted it to the No.3 spot in overall flash, but Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Toshiba Corp. remain in the No.1 and No.2 positions, respectively because of strong NAND sales. Intel dropped from the No. 3 spot in 2005 to No. 5 in 2006.

- Mike Clendenin
EE Times

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