The red hot tablet and smartphone sectors are leading to increased mobile DRAM production ratios among first-tier DRAM manufacturers, but only Samsung seems to be benefiting from it all. According to market research firm DRAMeXchange, Samsung was the only semiconductor to remain profitable in the fourth quarter of 2011, which it accomplished by attacking the global market with its Galaxy S2 and Note products.
As a result, Samsung increased its mobile DRAM market share from 53 percent in Q3 2011 to 53.8 percent in Q4, putting an even greater distance between itself and Hynix, which is a distant second with a 20.8 percent share of the market, down 2.1 percent sequentially.
"Samsung's victory can be attributed not only to the fact that their mobile DRAM production exceeds that of their competitors, but the maker also produces NAND flash products and targets the mobile device market with MCP (multi-chip package)," DRAMeXchange explains. "As for technology migration, Samsung’s products will mainly be manufactured on 35nm-node processes this year; add to that the success of their smartphone and tablet PC products, and it is clear why Samsung’s sales figures are far higher than those of other makers."
Samsung was able to remain profitable in the mobile DRAM market even as prices dropped 10 percent quarter-over-quarter. DRAMeXchange expects prices to drop another 15 percent to 20 percent in the first quarter of 2012, which is traditionally the weak shipment season of the year.