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Things have already gone from bad to worse to downright despairing, and unfortunately for DRAM makers, relief is no where in sight. Just when you thought things may have hit rock bottom, market research firm iSuppli says there's going to be a "huge drop in average selling prices" for 2011.
"After the boom year of 2010, the DRAM market is waking up to 2011 with a hangover," said Mike Howard, senior analyst for DRAM and memory at IHS. "With supply exceeding demand, pricing will decline precipitously for the year, causing revenue to decrease."
A hangover might be putting it nicely. According to iSuppli's figures, worldwide DRAM revenue in 2011 will drop to $35.5 billion, representing an 11.8 percent slide from $40.3 billion in 2010, and will continue to drop through at least 2013.
"While bad news for suppliers, the retreat in the DRAM ASP augurs well for consumers," Howard said. "The price of a 2GB module currently is less than half its level six months ago, a development sure to lead to higher DRAM content in PCs for 2011 and provide consumers with more memory per machine. Furthermore, the new predominant memory configuration in 2011 will be 4GB, to be loaded in half of all desktops PCs, with 2GB systems declining to just 6 percent of the total market by the end of the year."
If there's a bright spot for DRAM makers, it's the mobile market. According to iSuppli, smartphones and tablets in 2011 will combine to outship PCs by more than 50 million units. Both of these sectors will help slow the bleeding.