SAN FRANCISCOóMicron Technology Inc. and SK Hynix Inc. narrowed the gap in NAND flash memory with market leaders Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Toshiba Corp. in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to a report by market research firm IHS iSuppli.
Micron (Boise, Idaho), the third largest supplier of NAND, grew NAND revenue 11.7 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter, according to a new IHS iSuppli Data Flash Market Tracker report. Meanwhile, SK Hynix, formerly known as Hynix Semiconductor Inc., grew NAND revenue by 5.4 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter, according to the report. Hynix is the No.4 ranked supplier of NAND.
Micron's NAND market share increased to 19.6 percent in the fourth quarter, up from 17 percent in the third quarter, IHS said. Hynix grew its NAND share to 13.3 percent in the fourth quarter, up from 12.2 percent in the third quarter, IHS said.
While Micron and Hynix grew NAND revenue in the fourth quarter, the overall NAND market declined by 2.8 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the third, according to IHS. Samsung and Toshiba saw their NAND revenue decline on a sequential basis by 4.6 percent and 12.3 percent, respectively, according to IHS.
"Both Micron and Hynix managed to avoid any production issues in the fourth quarter, allowing them to keep their NAND flash production at high levels," said Michael Yang, senior principal analyst for memory and storage at IHS, in a statement. "This allowed them to keep their average selling prices high. On the other hand, Samsung and Toshiba decided to throttle back production arising from concerns relating to oversupply. We believe that Micron and Hynix will continue to gain share in 2012."
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IHS said Hynix in particular is expected to increase its share as the company engages in capital spending at a higher rate than the industry average.
Micron's fourth quarter NAND sales were up 88 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2011, according to IHS. Hynix's fourth quarter NAND sales were up 69 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2011, IHS said.
Toshiba's fourth quarter NAND sales declined 2.9 percent to $1.43 billion, the only NAND supplier to show a year-over-year decline in the fourth quarter, IHS said. Toshiba's 12.3 percent sequential decline was also the largest sequential decline for any NAND supplier in the fourth quarter, IHS said. The market research firm said Toshiba made a conscious decision to reduce production in the face of oversupplied market conditions.