Research firm WebFeet Research forecasts that the NAND market will be $34.6 billion in 2023, down 43% year-on-year. The reason lies in the simultaneously falling demand for servers, laptops and smartphones. For example, while there are still many unknowns in this equation, it’s not entirely clear what impact the AI boom will have on the flash memory market. Analysts assume stabilization by the end of the year, but the risk of negative surprises remains.
Despite sluggish demand for PCs in the first half of 2023, NAND vendors are hoping the production-cutting measures they’re taking will help ease high inventory levels. Many flash memory manufacturers are in a difficult position due to a sharp decline in NAND sales despite strong support from their governments.
South Korea will not allow Samsung or SK Hynix to collapse in the flash memory segment to protect national interests. Kioxia is under the protection of Japan and also cooperates with WD. Micron’s profits fell sharply and the company curtailed memory production. YMTC has faced technology sanctions but has made some progress with the release of 232-layer 3D NAND. It is not known how long support for the Chinese government will last.
In Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, Mike is asked how he went bankrupt. “Two ways, he replies. — Gradually, then suddenly. The question arises as to whether the industry is gradually slipping into a recession or whether a sudden drop in production is to be expected.