Samsung becomes Emperor of the DRAMurai

Korean chaebol Samsung owned 45 percent of the DRAM market revenues in the third quarter, a report from IHS said.

Even though its revenues fell by 8.9 percent compared to the second quarter, it still managed to outperform the rest of the DRAM industry, which is finding itself in challenging times overall. 

The third quarter is, traditionally, a buoyant period for the industry but that didn’t hold true this year.

Mike Howard, principal DRAM analyst at IHS, said that the reason Samsung continued to shine is because it has the largest capex budget, meaning it can both cut costs and introduce new products better than its competitors.

The average selling price for the whole industry fell 26 percent in the third quarter, but Samsung managed a fall of only 17 percent, on an increase of shipments of nine percent, said Howard.

But Micron, the only US DRAM manufacturer, also did well in the third quarter increasing its market share to 12.1 percent squeezing Elpida, which saw its ASP fall by 39 percent. Hynix lost market share too, while Nanya, as the table below shows, had a weak quarter. That, says Howard, is because it is highly exposed to the commodity DRAM market, suggesting an “uphill climb” in the next few quarters.

Revenue figures below are in US$ millions.
DRAM Q3 2011