Mobile DRAM posts improved revenue in Q2 from dismal first quarter

Revenue for mobile DRAM units reached $2.8 billion from April to June thanks to anticipated demand for mobile devices for the rest of 2013.


The market for mobile dynamic random access memory (DRAM) grew in the second quarter in light of anticipated demand for the upcoming hot selling season.

Revenue for mobile DRAM reached $2.8 billion during the April through June period, up 26% from $2.2 billion in the first quarter, according to a new DRAM Dynamics Brief from IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS), a leading source of global information and insight. Growth was driven by a 24.1% increase in mobile DRAM bit shipments as well as by a 1.5% uptick in average selling prices (ASP). In comparison, mobile DRAM revenue in the first quarter fell by 14% sequentially, shipments rose just 1.5% while ASPs plummeted 15.2%.

Figure 1 attached presents quarterly, global revenue for mobile DRAM.

Figure 1 attached presents quarterly, global revenue for mobile DRAM. Courtesy: IHS

Despite the latest gains by mobile DRAM, its share of the DRAM market as a whole rose by just a sliver. Mobile DRAM in the second quarter commanded 33% of the total DRAM market, marginally up from 32% in the first quarter.

The most recent share portion was less than the 34% share enjoyed in the third quarter of 2012, or the 39% share posted during the fourth quarter last year, as presented in Figure 2 attached.

The most recent share portion was less than the 34 percent share enjoyed in the third quarter of 2012, or the 39 percent share posted during the fourth quarter last year. Courtesy: IHS

“Share of mobile DRAM remained below the levels reached in the second half 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.”

ASP ascension

Still, the ASP increase of mobile DRAM in the second quarter was not a trivial matter, even at less than 2%. The increase, in fact, was a departure from at least nine consecutive quarters of pricing declines. Had mobile DRAM prices climbed in the first quarter, 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 $10 billion per quarter.

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

Market shares remain static

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

Samsung’s share in the second quarter fell 2 percentage points to 49.6%, but the electronics giant still has twice the market share of nearest competitor SK Hynix. Samsung’s mobile DRAM sales during the period reached $1.4 billion, up 21% from the first quarter.

Meanwhile, SK Hynix made a substantial leap of its own, growing mobile DRAM revenue by 40% and nearly doubling its takings compared to the same time a year ago. In all, SK Hynix controlled 24.8% 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 80.0% from year-ago levels, while Micron underperformed the market with revenue growth of only 17.6%.

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

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

- Edited by CFE Media. See other automation-related research.

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.