According to analytical company TrendForce, in the third quarter of 2021, the global NAND flash memory market saw a 15% increase in revenue. Positive dynamics were provided by data centers and corporate clients, who continued the bulk purchases begun in the second quarter in order to deploy systems on platforms with new processors, as well as by smartphone manufacturers who were preparing to release new models.
Vendors warned that at the end of the third and fourth quarters, PC OEMs began to cut order volumes for NAND modules as they were forced to cut production due to shortages of other components. At the same time, the flash memory market itself does not show a deficit. However, in the third quarter, shipments increased by 11% qoq, while the average selling price (ASP) increased by 4%. As a result, the total quarterly revenue in the industry grew by 15%, setting a new record at around $ 18.8 billion in the third quarter of 2021.
Activity in the data center and smartphone markets allowed Samsung to raise ASP by 10% and increase shipments by 5%. In the third quarter of 2021, the company’s revenue in the NAND segment increased by 16.5% to $ 6.51 billion. For similar reasons, Kioxia increased ASP and shipments by 4% and 15%, respectively, over the same period, and the company’s revenue in this area was $ 3.64 billion (20.8% quarterly growth). The highest growth in shipments among major players (over 20%) was shown by SK hynix, which also increased ASP by 5% and achieved revenues in this market of $ 2.54 billion (quarterly growth of 25.6%).
Despite the fact that PC OEMs reduced their orders for SSDs from Western Digital, the company managed to increase shipments by 8%, but ASP fell by 3% – because of this, the quarterly revenue in this segment was $ 2.49 billion from the quarter growth of 2.9%. Micron’s customers continued to actively purchase products for data centers based on 176-layer NAND chips, but the company did not perform so well in the smartphone market; shipments grew only 4%, ASP increased 5%, and revenues in this market were $ 1.97 billion, showing a quarterly growth of 8.8%. And finally, Intel was able to increase shipments by 5% at the expense of corporate clients, ASP – by almost 6%; at the same time, revenue for this segment in quarterly terms grew by only 0.6%, reaching $ 1.11 billion.