From our view of the smart phone and tablet industry at UBM TechInsights, it's definitely not a surprise that Qualcomm and nVidia are moving up the rankings. Qualcomm's integrated chip sets, LTE design wins, and of course Apple design wins are all helping on the phone side of things; and nVidia's Tegra 2 is powering many WiFi-only Android tablets.
SSD's are likely to remain 10 or 100 times as costly as HDs for a long time. That means they won't replace HD's in quite a few places. They have some penetration as replacements for HD's in server farms (as scratchpad) but not for the main bulk of data storage. They are also attractive to some people who can afford them to speedup booting their laptops. But to suggest that they are the major growth area for the whole industry sounds a little optimistic to me.
SSDs will be the next great semiconductor growth area, offset somewhat by a drop in HDs. But there is more semiconductor content (NAND) in SSDs than in HDs. Sandisk is the play in that, as they are the only pure play in NAND. And NAND is the place to be for the next 3-5 years, for smartphones, SSDs, tablets, Ultrabooks.
Smart phone leads the growth of the semiconductor industry. Is it also leading the growth of the whole economy? It is a bit crazy that this little tiny gadget is the only product that electronics field can only put money at. Does it mean there is no or little diversity in innovation from on!
The price of memory chips are changing by more than 100% on both sides.They are not stable. In a year i could see 4 to 5 times it reaches both extreme ends of the pricing . That is the main reason the memory chip vendors are not able to reach the top20 ranks.
Yes, smartphone is the driver. If you are not into it, your growth is stunted. That is the most important instrument. I am very happy to read that our industry is healthy. Hope we can another high growth area like smartphone to keep this going.