NAND sales slow down
The PC market remains weak and the overheated smartphone and tablet market seems to be slowing down as well, but NAND makers are reporting their best quarter in history.
According to IHS iSuppli, NAND industry revenue in the last quarter of 2012 hit a new record, $5.6 billion. The market was up 17 percent from the third quarter, despite the slowdown.
Samsung and Toshiba lead the pack with a 37 and 31 percent market share respectively. Micron is in a distant second, with 14 percent of the market, followed by SK Hynix and Intel, at 11 and seven percent respectively. All the other players accounted for just three percent.
IHS believes the strong results were important because they helped offset negative trends in previous quarters, resulting in a period of record revenues last year.
"Major contributors to NAND strength in the fourth quarter included smartphones and tablets, even though density growth is projected to slow in 2013 for each smartphone, and has been negative for tablets since 2010. For these markets, rising volumes trumped the trend of slower growth in memory usage in the fourth quarter," said IHS analyst Ryan Chien.
Aside from smartphones and tablets, solid state drives and retail flash products helped the industry rake in record revenue last quarter.