LONDON The flash memory market is about to go through a change from a situation that favored buyers to one that will favor NAND flash memory suppliers over the next few years, according to IC Insights' recently released mid-year update to the McClean Report.
Unit shipments and bit volume demand is set to increase but there has been a declining investment in flash memory manufacturing capacity for a couple of years now. IC Insights reckons that in 2009 capital expenditure dedicated to flash memory will fall to 25 percent of the previous year at about $3 billion. The result will be upward pressure on average selling prices through 2012 at least.
The volume of NAND flash memory unit sales is set to increase 2009 despite the economic challenges, IC Insights states. Driven by demand for handheld and wireless consumer, computer and communications devices flash bit volumes increased by triple-digit figures between 2005 and 2008. NAND flash bit volume is forecast to increase by 83 percent in 2009 and is expected to double each year through 2013.
No significant expansion of capex spending plans has been announced for 2010, according to IC Insights. The resulting rise in ASPs is set to last well into 2012 as it will take approximately a year for any capacity expansion to be brought online.
As the largest purchasers of NAND flash memory seek to lock in supply this could result in higher prices and allocation for smaller companies.
Related links and articles:
SanDisk CEO: NAND business at crossroads
Billion-dollar capex club smallest in a decade
Intel, Micron, Samsung start NAND scaling race