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NAND flash market starts year with price plight

Posted: 06 Jan 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:NAND flash market? contract price? inventory restocking?

TrendForce Corp. has revealed that the NAND flash market remains uncertain with some suppliers and buyers finding it tough to agree on prices. Therefore, with few concluded transactions, 2HDec mainstream NAND flash MLC contract price dropped by 3-8 percent compared to 1HDec. From the supply perspective, main suppliers' technology migration has continuously pressed forward since the end of 4Q11.

The market research firm expects that after Chinese New Year, the proportion of new process technology shipments will slowly increase, and 2xnm-node SSD and eMMC will begin to ship for new ultrabook, smartphone and tablet models. From the demand perspective, as the past year saw weak demand for the back-to-school and year-end holiday seasons, makers' inventory restocking demand was also lower than usual.

In terms of the UFD market, as USB 3.0 has not yet gained ground, market performance remains mediocre. As consumer electronics shipments have been weak and the Thailand flood disaster has impacted the digital camera supply chain, the retail memory card market has suffered. Furthermore, with an unstable global economy and shipments for system products such as tablets and ultrabooks not performing as expected, restocking momentum has not been as strong as in previous years, noted TrendForce.

32GB NAND flash price

2HDec mainstream NAND flash MLC contract price fell by 3-8 percent compared to 1HDec last year.

Looking toward the January NAND flash market, with no clear, positive signs in terms of demand outlook, as well as fewer work days and an early Chinese New Year, TrendForce expects that NAND flash contract price will continue on a slight downtrend in the short term. 1Q12 price will depend on Chinese New Year retail sales and inventory replenishment.

64GB NAND flash price

Negotiations in contract price for NAND flash were met with uncertainty at the start of the year.

As for the mobile phone industry, according to�TrendForce�research, smartphone shipment volume reached 427 million units last year, a 50 percent increase compared to 2010. This year, benefitting from the rise of entry to mid-level smartphones as well as increased demand from emerging markets, shipments may grow to 592 million units. Additionally, the proportion of internal memory and OEM memory card capacity will gradually increase as cost decreases. As the mobile phone industry's NAND flash consumption volume is forecasted at 50 percent for 1Q12,�TrendForce�believes the smartphone industry will retain strong growth momentum, which will positively affect NAND flash industry growth.

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