November 10, 2010, 1:26 PM — The sale of new tablet PCs and smartphones with solid state storage technology is compensating for weak demand for memory cards and USB flash drives and has led to a 17% increase in NAND flash shipments over the last quarter and an average price drop of about 9%.
According to DRAMeXchange, the research division of Trendforce, Samsung continues to lead the market in NAND flash sales, benefiting mostly from smartphone and tablet PC equipment manufacturer sales.
For the third quarter, NAND Flash vendors reaped a total of $5.1 billion in revenue, up 6.9% over $4.76 billion in the second quarter.
In its quarterly sales report, DRAMeXchange stated that system manufacturers orders of NAND flash for their mobile devices eased pricing pressure for solid state drive technology, which had climbed and then leveled off for several quarters.
While vendors have different pricing strategies, some vendors adopted aggressive price-cut promotions to stimulate the demand from memory card and USB flash drive resellers, driving down the average selling price for NAND.
NAND flash market share
Samsung remains in the lead with 39.7% of NAND flash market share and $2 billion in revenue, while Toshiba took second place with 35.7% of market share and $1.8 billion revenue, according to DRAMeXchange. Micron came in third place with a 10.2% market share and $522 million in sales, followed by Hynix with $478 million in sales. Intel was fifth with $256 in flash revenue.
Samsung reported NAND flash shipments were up about 10% quarter over quarter, while their average selling price was down 5%.
Samsung expects embedded NAND flash product orders from some system manufacturers will remain high in the fourth quarter, resulting in a 20% increase in flash shipments. The company also expects its average selling price to decline about 15%.
Toshiba's average NAND flash selling price declined moderately while its shipment rate grew significantly in the third quarter with revenue up 15.3%.
Toshiba expects to boost its output of 24 nanometer (nm) NAND flash technology node technology and TLC products to strengthen the low-cost competitiveness as well as to expand capacity from its new fabrication facility, which it built with SanDisk.