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Mobile memory contract price decline eases amid tight supply

Posted: 23 May 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mobile DRAM? LPDDR2? eMCP?

DRAMeXchange, a research arm of TrendForce, has revealed that first tiered DRAM suppliers are actively delaying their migration to mobile DRAM in light of the price growth experienced by PC DRAM since 4Q12. In 2Q13, declines in the mobile DRAM contract prices have eased, and price-competitive mainstream products such as LPDDR2 4Gb, 8Gb and 16Gb all underwent price drops of less than 10 per cent QoQ, noted the market research company.

For products such as eMMC+Multi-Chip Package (eMCP), the price drops were about seven per cent, whereas for MCP, prices slid by roughly five per cent due to the tightening of the MCP 4+4 supplies resulting from the transitions being made from LPDDR1 to LPDDR2.

Following the increased smartphone sales target set for Q2, Samsung reserved an estimated 70 per cent of the mobile DRAM capacity for its in-house products, which in turn caused supplies of eMCP to tighten. While the Korean company's actions exerted little impact on the Q2 contract prices of first tiered manufacturing customers, those belonging in the second and third tiers are already beginning to experience problems in the areas of pricing and order supply. Mainstream density products such as eMCP4+4 and 4+8 both saw price increases of as much as 50 per cent, for instance. In addition to the intensified price growth, product supply orders have also become harder to obtain for smartphone makers who do not belong in the first tier. The gradually worsening shortage in May, on the whole, can be said to have created a largely negative impact on the performances of the second and third tiered manufacturers.

In Q3, the merger between Micron and Elpida are expected to show further progress. As more and more of the Micron's eMCP-based products are being delivered to their customers for testing, there is hope that the eMCP shortage situation can be properly resolved during H2. TrendForce predicts that the price drops will gradually ease as the market's oligopolistic state becomes more obvious. As the economic scale and number of technological advancements in the industry continue to rise, first-tiered mobile DRAM manufacturers will have a good chance of maintaining their profitability, added IHS.

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