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Micron claims 20% NAND flash market share

Posted: 25 Sep 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IHS? NAND flash? market share? sequential performance?

According to the latest data from IHS, for the first time in the history of the industry, Micron Technology Inc. has taken more than 20 per cent market share of the global NAND flash memory market in Q2. The market research firm added that Micron posted the strongest sequential performance of all NAND suppliers, with revenue reaching $897 million, up six per cent from $846 in the previous quarter.

In comparison, the other ranked suppliers all suffered revenue declines during the same period.

Despite overall NAND flash market revenue declining by 13 per cent, Micron increased its market share to 20.7 per cent in Q2, up from 17 per cent in Q1.

"Defying weak demand and falling prices in the overall business, Micron expanded its NAND revenue and market share to reach the key 20 per cent milestone for the first time since it started selling the memory in 2005," said Dee Nguyen, memory analyst at IHS. "Micron not only successfully increased its bit shipments of NAND flash by a whopping 68 per cent, it also benefitted from a reallocation in production from the NAND joint venture partner with Intel Corp., while capitalizing on the travails at its close competitorNo. 2-ranked Toshiba Corp."

In Q2, Micron accounted for 80 per cent of production from its joint venture with Intel, up from 62 per cent in Q1. The increase was part of a revised capacity agreement between the two companies.

Meanwhile, Micron was able to claim some of the market share ceded by Toshiba. The Japanese maker in Q2 saw its share decline by 9.5 percentage points sequentially, which occurred after strong growth in Q1.

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Figure: Worldwide NAND Flash Memory Market Share (Percentage share based on revenue)
Source: HIS iSuppli Research, September 2012.

"Toshiba may be stuck in a repeat pattern of decline in one quarter that is then followed by growth and renewal during the following quarter," Nguyen said. "Similar to what it experienced in Q2, Toshiba recorded poor results in Q4 last yearand then promptly bounced back in 1Q12 as it cleared out stagnant inventory. Should Toshiba do the same in Q3 and rebound during the end of 2H12, Micron may see some of its market share gains dissipate."

Micron in Q2 remained in third place after No. 1-ranked Samsung Electronics, with 42.5 per cent; and No. 2 Toshiba, with 24.7 per cent. SK Hynix Semiconductor sat in fourth place, with 11.8 per cent.

Like Micron, Samsung benefited from the Toshiba downslide: Samsung gained 5.1 percentage points in market share.

Micron also put more distance between itself and SK Hynix, now separated by 8.9 percentage points compared to 5.9 percentage points in Q1. Still, Micron's wins during the period need to be qualified. Despite tremendous growth in its bit shipments, Micron posted a NAND revenue increase that was much smaller. NAND average selling prices in the trade had declined 39 per cent in Q2 compared to a 23 per cent drop in Q1mainly because of a shift in product mix towards multi-level cell (MLC) as well as a higher share of bits being shipped into channels other than the embedded market, resulting in lower ASPs.

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