Flash memory fell 23 last quarter and continued to fall

Flash memory fell 23% last quarter and continued to fall in price this quarter.

According to analysts, the entire past six months TrendForce, was marked by a drop in demand for NAND flash memory, and contract prices fell by 20-25%. In the enterprise SSD segment, the discount reached 28%. In the fourth quarter, NAND memory vendor revenue declined 25% sequentially to $10.29 billion.

    Image source: Samsung Electronics

Image source: Samsung Electronics

Interestingly, actual shipments rose 5.3%, but average selling prices still fell 22.8% as customers, fearing overstocking their own warehouses, were reluctant to contract to supply flash memory themselves at reduced prices. According to TrendForce, Kioxia and Micron both experienced lower flash memory production volumes and prices last quarter. Low demand for memory chips in the PC and smartphone segment caused Kioxia’s sales to fall by 30.5%, while in the server segment customers were trying to shed excess memory in warehouses. Still, in the second quarter, Kioxia maintained its status as the second-largest memory maker after Samsung, with a monetary market share of 19.1%.

Directly, Samsung Electronics’ revenue from flash memory sales fell steadily by 19.1% to $3.5 billion, but the Korean giant still remains the market leader with a 33.8% share, reported in the fourth quarter even increased by 2.4%. The company will not follow the example of smaller competitors to scale back NAND chip production or refuse to invest in expanding production capacity. This will also contribute to cost savings and maintaining technology leadership in the future.

    Image source: TrendForce

Image source: TrendForce

Third in the ranking of the largest NAND vendors by revenue was SK Group, combining the results of SK hynix and Solidigm, the company that operates the former Intel factory in Dalian, China. The group’s revenue fell 30.9% sequentially to $1.76 billion and its market share fell to 17.1% from 18.5%. At the same time, the actual volume of product shipments increased by 6.7%.

Of particular note is Western Digital Corporation, which not only contained a 3.8% decline in sales in a challenging market environment, but also increased its market share from 12.6% to 16.1% in just one quarter. This was made possible by a 20% increase in product offering, although the price cut inevitably resulted in a 3.8% drop in sales. At least it was minimal for all participants in the TrendForce rating.

Micron had to cap its revenue of $1.1 billion, down 34.7% from the third quarter, and the company’s business utilization rates also declined. That didn’t stop Micron from bringing 232-layer 3D NAND in solid-state drives to consumer markets in the fourth quarter. The company should demonstrate an increase in the volume of shipments of products in the near future.

According to TrendForce, Kioxia, Micron, WDC and SK hynix will reduce memory production volumes in the first quarter. This will result in a gradual 10-15% drop in the average selling price of memory chips. The first quarter is traditionally characterized by low buyer activity, so industry sales could decline 8.1% sequentially.

About the author

Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

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