Samsung Increases Its Already Big DRAM Market Share Lead

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-02-16 Print this article Print

Overall DRAM revenue for the South Korean electronics giant in Q4 2010 totaled $3.6 billion-a whopping 41.7 percent share of the market.

With the news that the dynamic random access memory market is heating up to unprecedented demand in 2011, it's logical that the sales leader in this segment is licking its chops at more potential profits.

Solid-state market analyst IHS iSuppli reported Feb. 16 that South Korea's Samsung Electronics continued to increase its already commanding percentage of sales in the DRAM market in Q4 2010.

Overall DRAM revenue for Samsung in Q4 2010 totaled $3.6 billion, which works out to a whopping 41.7 percent share of the $8.7 billion market, IHS iSuppli said.

Most of this upsurge, of course, is due to brisk sales of Apple iOS and Android-powered tablet PCs and smartphones.

Even though Samsung's market share rose a full percentage point in Q4, and despite the overall fast growth of the DRAM-producing business, the manufacturer's net revenue was down a bit-along with the global DRAM market, which brought in lower revenue than in the previous quarter, iSuppli said.

In Q3 2010, world DRAM market revenue totaled $10.7 billion, a full $2 billion more than in Q4 2010, iSuppli said.

The reason for this wasn't unit sales volume; it was price fluctuation. Due to more intense competition among the world's seven major manufacturers, ASPs (average selling prices) for DRAMs fell nearly 30 percent in the final quarter of 2010, research shows.

"Samsung succeeded in picking up more business, thanks to an astute playbook, marked by a diverse product portfolio that hedged against excessive ASP declines, as well as an aggressive budget for capital expenditures that made sure the company's shipments kept pace with the competition," said Mike Howard, principal analyst for DRAM and memory at IHS iSuppli.

No. 2 in market share is Hynix Semiconductor, also of South Korea, which has held steady with about 22 percent share for eight consecutive quarters. No. 3 is Elpida Memory of Japan, which suffered the biggest drop in revenue in the fourth quarter; it was down 35 percent, to $1.1 billion and a 13 percent share.

No. 4 is Micron Technology, whose revenue dipped only 3 percent for the period. The Idaho-based company finally began to see significant shipments being counted from its purchase of a stake in Taiwan's Inotera Memories a few years ago. Micron's market share went up to 12.5 percent in the fourth quarter from 10.5 percent in Q3 2010.


Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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