SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.--IC Insights Inc. has slightly lowered its overall forecast for the flash-memory market amid an erosion of average selling prices (ASPs) in the arena.
IC Insights believes the flash market will grow 45 percent in 2004 over 2003, which is slightly lower than the original forecast of 48 percent.
In terms of dollars, the flash market grew only 2 percent in 1Q04/4Q03, matching IC Insights' January forecast. The market is expected to show sequential quarterly market growth of 5 percent, 9 percent, and 6 percent, according to the Scottsdale-based firm.
On the bright side, flash units are showing a much stronger annual growth rate than originally forecast. The market is expected to grow 46 percent in terms of unit growth, verses 35 percent in the original forecast.
In 1Q04, flash shipments increased 11 percent, compared to 4Q03. The market is expected to grow 8 percent in 2Q, 8 percent in 3Q, and 10 percent in Q4, according to the firm.
"Ongoing strength across many applications in the consumer, communication and computing fields has kept demand for flash memory very robust through the first five months of the year," said Bill McClean, president of IC Insights. "The only 'soft spot' in the flash market is average selling prices."
IC Insights originally forecasted the overall flash memory ASP to be $5.38 in 1Q04. Actual flash ASP in 1Q04 was only $4.86. "With a collection of new flash competitors including Infineon and Hynix/STMicroelectronics entering the market and bringing more capacity with them, pricing pressure on flash components is forecast to continue through the end of 2004," he said.