Samsung continues to rule the roost in the DRAM market

Samsung has managed to dominate in the DRAM market thanks to what IHS iSuppli describes as a “winning strategy.”

According to the company’s research, Samsung’s revenue for the fourth quarter of 2010 rang in at $3.6 billion. It said this was equivalent to a 41.7 percent share of an $8.7 billion market.

However, it wasn’t a good year for the DRAM market in general. Samsung’s revenue dropped in the last quarter, but it didn’t miss out as other DRAM companies also suffered with average selling prices (ASP) falling more than 28 percent in the final quarter

That said Samsung retained its perch at the top of the DRAM heap while seven other companies fought for the remaining three-fifths of the market.


“Samsung succeeded in picking up more business thanks to an astute playbook marked by a diverse product portfolio that hedged against excessive ASP declines, as well as an aggressive budget for capital expenditure that made sure the company’s shipments kept pace with the competition,” said Mike Howard, principal analyst for DRAM and memory at IHS.

However, it’s not just Samsung that should be gloating as Micron Technology, which came in at number four only seeing a 3 percent revenue drop in this quarter. Some could say there was a little bit of cheating going on here as Micron counted the shipments from its purchase of a stake in Taiwan’s Inotera Memories a few years ago. Micron’s market share edged up to 12.5 percent in the fourth quarter, up from 10.5 percent in the third quarter.

Other companies worth a mention are Hynix Semiconductor, which came in at second position with a 22 percent market share for eight consecutive quarters. In at third was Elpida Memory despite suffering the biggest drop in revenue in the fourth quarter. It’s money was down 35 percent to $1.1 billion.

And Samsung shouldn’t be cracking open the champagne bottle so soon with IHS claiming that market share shifts will occur in 2011.

Micron will keep up its game, and Nanya and Elpida could also possibly grow their market shares.

“One thing is clear: As the dynamic DRAM industry continues its wild and volatile ride, market share among companies when this year ends will be significantly different from that of last year,” the company added.