We're pretty sure no jobs exist for 'Door-to-Door DRAM Salesman,' but if you should see such an opening in the classifieds section of Craigslist, don't bother applying. The DRAM market is in a sorry state, profit margins are thin, and things don't appear to be improving with time. Case in point, A-DATA Chairman Simon Chen said the DRAM market is the worst it's been in 15 years, and that was back in 2008! Well, the numbers are in for the first quarter of 2011, and it's more of the same.
Market research firm IHS iSuppli notes that industry revenue in the first quarter fell short of expectations due to weak pricing, and that's during a period already "considered a quiet time of the year for the dynamic random access memory market." Global revenue came out to $8.3 billion, or $700 million less than anticipated. That figure also represents a 5.5 percent decline from $8.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010. IHS iSuppli blamed the soft performance on lower-than-expected average selling prices (ASPs).
"Buffeted by weak market conditions, companies across the DRAM space saw their revenues contract across the board in the first quarter of this year," said Mike Howard, principal analyst for DRAM and memory at IHS. "For the Top 8 DRAM companies -- together responsible for 98.1 percent of the total industry -- revenue in the first quarter this year fell for every single player, although the rankings held steady."
Samsung held onto its top spot with a 39.3 percent share of the market, down from 41.3 percent in Q4 of 2010. Hynix, sitting in the No. 2 spot, increased its share from 21.8 percent in Q4 2010 to 23 percent in Q1 2011. But the tightest race is for third place, with Elpida edging out Micron by half a percentage point at 13.5 percent. After that, the next biggest player is Nanya with a 4.1 percent share of the DRAM market.