According to DRAMeXchange, a division of global research firm TrendForce, after peaking in the fourth quarter of last year, smartphone and tablet demand decreased in the first quarter of 2013. However, as NAND flash suppliers continually adjusted supply levels to counteract seasonality, NAND flash price remained stable. Total revenue for NAND flash brand manufacturers slid to US$5.193 billion, a 2.1% QoQ decrease.
TrendForce’s NAND flash brand manufacturer revenue ranking for the first quarter of 2013 places Samsung at the head of the pack with US$1.934 billion, representing 37.2% of the market. Toshiba’s revenue amounted to US$1.5 billion, 28.9% of the market. Micron came in third with US$710 million, pushing their market share to 13.7%, up from from 12.3% in the previous quarter. SK Hynix’s revenue was US$640 million, 12.3% of the market, and Intel took 7.9% of the market with a revenue of US$409 million.
Despite weaker smartphone and tablet demand in the first quarter, Samsung’s mobile phone sales fared better than the industry average. Thus, eMMC and SSD shipments were strong, and bit supply increased in the first quarter. As a result of increasing system product shipments, ASP fell by 5-10% QoQ, and revenue decreased by 5.9% QoQ to US$1.934 billion, representing 37.2% of the market. Samsung anticipates double-digit bit supply growth in the second quarter, which TrendForce attributes to Samsung’s migration to 1xnm process technology for the production of system products like SSD and eMMC. Additionally, to meet client demand, the Korean supplier will continue to increase the output ratio of TLC products in the second half of the year.
After Toshiba’s 30% capacity reduction in the third quarter of 2012, OEM orders have been slowly returning the following two quarters and capacity utilization rate has gradually increased. However, Toshiba’s main clients saw weaker performance due to seasonality and the Japanese yen depreciated by approximately 13% QoQ in the first quarter. As ASP and shipment volume was approximately the same as the previous quarter, revenue increased slightly, by 2.3% QoQ to US$1.5 billion, representing 28.9% market share. As 19nm SSD and eMMC products gradually mature, TrendForce expects bit output will increase by 8-9% QoQ in the second quarter.
According to SK Hynix’s first quarter financial report, despite seasonality, NAND flash price has stabilized due to slower NAND flash supply growth. As a result, SK Hynix’s first quarter revenue only fell by a slight 4.9% QoQ to US$640 million; bit supply fell by 1% QoQ, while ASP decreased by 5% QoQ. SK Hynix expects to see double-digit output growth in the second quarter. The 20nm process will remain the mainstream technology for SSD and eMMC, while the 16nm process is expected to be ready for volume production in the second half of the year.
As a result of tight supply due to increased SSD demand and technology migration, Micron’s bit output increased by 13% QoQ, while ASP fell by approximately 1% QoQ. Thus, revenue rose to US$710 million, an 8.4% QoQ increase and 13.7% market share, putting Micron in third place. As the 20nm yield rate continues to improve, output will climb. Therefore, TrendForce anticipates Micron will see nearly 10% bit output growth in the second quarter, while the ASP trend will stabilize.
Benefitting from the NAND flash price trend stabilization in the first quarter, Intel’s ASP increased slightly in the first quarter. Affected by seasonality, bit shipment volume fell by 15% QoQ. Thus, first quarter revenue decreased 10.2% QoQ to US$409 million, giving Intel 7.9% market share. The supplier will increase the shipment ratio of 20nm products in the second quarter while expanding corporate SSD market share.
As suppliers continued adjusting supply levels to counteract seasonality, the NAND flash price trend remained stable throughout the first quarter. Although demand was weaker than in the fourth quarter peak season, total NAND flash revenue fell to US$5.193 billion, a 2.1% QoQ decrease but a 8.4% YoY increase compared to US$4.791 billion in the first quarter of 2012.