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Mobile DRAM logs improved revenue in 2Q13

Posted: 26 Sep 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IHS  mobile DRAM  Samsung  SK Hynix  Elpida 

According to the latest report from IHS, the market for mobile dynamic random access memory (DRAM) grew in Q2 amid the anticipated demand for the upcoming hot selling season. Revenue for mobile DRAM approached Rs.17,610.06 crore ($2.8 billion) from April through June, up 26 per cent from Rs.13,836.48 crore ($2.2 billion) in Q1. Growth was driven by a 24.1 per cent increase in mobile DRAM bit shipments as well as by a 1.5 per cent uptick in average selling prices (ASP). In comparison, mobile DRAM revenue in Q1 fell by 14 per cent sequentially, shipments rose just 1.5 per cent while ASPs dropped 15.2 per cent, detailed the market research firm.

Despite the latest gains by mobile DRAM, its share of the DRAM market as a whole rose by just a sliver. Mobile DRAM in Q2 commanded 33 per cent of the total DRAM market, marginally up from 32 per cent in Q1.

The most recent share portion was less than the 34 per cent share enjoyed in 3Q12, or the 39 per cent share posted during 4Q12.

"Share of mobile DRAM remained below the levels reached in H2 last year because of seasonally slow demand during the most recent period for smartphones and tablets," said Mike Howard, senior principal analyst, DRAM & Memory, for IHS. "In this respect, commodity PC DRAM continues to account for the majority of the DRAM space with the rest of the DRAM market represented by other segments, such as server DRAM, consumer DRAM and graphics DRAM."

Still, the ASP increase of mobile DRAM in the second quarter was not a trivial matter, even at less than two per cent. The increase, in fact, was a departure from at least nine consecutive quarters of pricing declines. Had mobile DRAM prices climbed in Q1, the overall DRAM market would have performed much better. And a DRAM market in which both commodity and mobile prices were going up could have seen total DRAM revenue surpassing Rs.62,893.08 crore ($10 billion) per quarter.

The forecast demand for smartphones and tablets in H2 should result in continued growth of the mobile DRAM market, IHS noted. With new smartphone and tablet launches expected soon, mobile DRAM demand is expected to heat up as well.

South Korea maintained its dominance of the mobile DRAM industry, controlling nearly 75 per cent of revenue thanks to the two largest players in the business, Samsung and SK Hynix.

Samsung's share in Q2 fell two percentage points to 49.6 per cent, but the electronics giant still has twice the market share of nearest competitor SK Hynix. Samsung's mobile DRAM sales during the period reached Rs.8,805.03 crore ($1.4 billion), up 21 per cent from Q1.

Meanwhile, SK Hynix made a substantial leap of its own, growing mobile DRAM revenue by 40 per cent and nearly doubling its takings compared to the same time a year ago. In all, SK Hynix controlled 24.8 per cent of the market.

At No. 3 was Elpida Memory of Japan, which has been acquired by fourth-ranked Micron Technology of Idaho. In this case, the acquired performed much better than the buyer for the period: Elpida revenue jumped 80 per cent from year-ago levels, while Micron underperformed the market with revenue growth of only 17.6 per cent.

If revenue from the merged entities was combined, the Elpidaµm total would fall just shy of that claimed by second place SK Hynix. Separately, Elpida had 20.5 per cent market share, while Micron was a distant fourth with just 3.9 per cent.

The remaining 1.2 per cent of the market belonged to a motley group of suppliers, mostly manufacturers based in Taiwan.

For more statistics and forecasts, click here.

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