Friday, September 08, 2017
Global DRAM module sales totaled around US$6.9 billion in 2016, down about 12% from US$7.9 billion a year earlier, according to DRAMeXchange. Falling PC DRAM prices during the first half of the year and the continuing contraction of the DIY market were the main factors behind the revenue decrease.
The DRAM market was still in oversupply during the first half of 2016, with 4GB PC DRAM module ASPs hitting as low as US$12.50, said DRAMeXchange.
However, mobile DRAM demand started to surge after the second quarter, which also began to affect the supply of DRAM products for other applications. The supply of PC DRAM memory has become tight since the second half of 2016 prompting the chip prices to rise, DRAMeXchange indicated.
Nevertheless, PC DRAM ASPs for all of 2016 still plunged by 34% compared to 2015, DRAMeXchange said. Average spot prices for PC DRAM suffered an even steeper drop. Consequently, the overall DRAM module industry took a major hit in revenues with most suppliers experiencing revenue declines in 2016, DRAMeXchange said.
Kingston Technology continued to dominate the DRAM module market in 2016 with a 72.55% share, DRAMeXchange indicated. Despite a more than 30% fall in DRAM contract prices, Kingston managed to post a just 6.7% drop in its overall DRAM module revenues for 2016.
Kingston already has a "sizable" market share for eMCPs used by China's second-tier smartphone makers, and the company is looking to increase eMCP sales to China's first-tier smartphone vendors in 2017, DRAMeXchange said. Also, Kingston has been selling specialty DRAM products in the consumer electronics market since 2016, and has started generating significant revenues from the sector in 2017.
Ramaxel remained the revenue leader among China-based DRAM module houses in 2016, and took third place in the global market, DRAMeXchange said. Ramaxel's DRAM module revenues fell 39% in 2016, due to weak PC DRAM prices during the first half of the year.
Ramaxel is expected to grow its revenues in the future as the company can count on its relationship with Lenovo, DRAMeXchange noted. Furthermore, Ramaxel will be adding new eMCP products into its portfolio and expanding the share of server DRAM modules in its product mix.
Adata Technology was one of the few DRAM module houses posting revenue growth in 2016, and was still the revenue leader among Taiwan-based suppliers, DRAMeXchange said. ADATA gained a cost advantage over its competitors during the second half of 2016 as it raised the share of gaming products in its product mix and kept its own DRAM inventory at an optimal level.
In recent years, DRAM module makers have searched for new "blue ocean" markets to offset the impact of a shrinking PC DRAM market, according to DRAMeXchange. Kingston, for example, started to focus on smartphone applications in 2015 and has also become active in the specialty DRAM market since 2016. Adata and Team Group have made inroads into the gaming market, while Ramaxel has expanded its presence in the server DRAM segment.
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