SAN FRANCISCO — Mobile DRAM sales grew by more than 4 percent sequentially in the third quarter, with South Korea's memory chip giants taking a bigger slice of the pie, according to memory price tracking firm DRAMeXchange.
While the gradual recovery of the smartphone market and the arrival of the year-end holiday cycle boosted the market for mobile DRAM chips in the third quarter, the average selling price of devices increased by less than 5 percent during the quarter, according to DRAMeXchange. The firm expects mobile DRAM sales growth to increase in the fourth quarter.
South Korea's Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix continued to dominate the market, holding a combined 85.6 percent of the mobile DRAM market in the third quarter, up more than 2 percent compared with the second quarter, DRAMeXchange said.
Third quarter mobile DRAM sales in millions of dollars.
Meanwhile, U.S.-based Micron Technology saw its market share decline by about 2.5 percent quarter-over-quarter as its mobile DRAM sales slipped by 13 percent, according to DRAMeXchange, which cited the effects of a gas pollution accident at Micron's Fab 2 in Taiwan. But DRAMeXchange said it expects Micron's share decline to reverse in the fourth quarter with Micron hiking mobile DRAM prices more aggressively than both Samsung and Hynix.
Hynix's mobile DRAM sales grew by some 30 percent between the second and third quarter, the highest among the top three suppliers, DRAMeXchange said. The sales growth — which lifted Hynix's market share to 27.2 percent from 21.7 — was brought about by price increases, which should continue to benefit Hynix in the fourth quarter, according to DRAMeXchange. However, Hynix's fourth quarter mobile DRAM growth rate may be dampened by a serious shortage of high-density eMCP, the firm said.
Market leader Samsung's mobile DRAM sales actually declined by 1 percent quarter-over-quarter, pulling its market share down to 58.3 percent from 61.5 percent, DRAMeXchange said.
— Dylan McGrath is the editor-in-chief of EE Times.