Mobile DRAM contract prices dropped by 5~10% in January due to the channel clients’ inventory congestion and the new smartphone announcements scheduled for March, according to DRAMeXchange, a research division of TrendForce. The prices for the first tier manufacturers’ Discrete memory products experienced an estimated 5~10% decline, whereas those for LPDDR1 suffered a relatively larger reduction given the shift of focus towards LPDDR2 and LPDDR3 and the subsequently weakened LPDDR1 demand.
Looking at MCP&eMCP, as more pricing adjustments were able to be implemented for these products following the weakened NAND Flash price, the overall decline in their contract prices, depending on their specific densities, ranged from 5~20%. Samsung has been noticeably aggressive with the pricing of its TLC eMCP products, and as a result, their price difference with the MLC products is above 5%. The shipment volume of the former product category has begun to show further growth as an increasing number of second and first tier clients seek to lower their manufacturing costs and turn their attention towards mid to low-end smartphone models.
With the eMCP shortage easing in 4Q13 and Micron starting to provide eMCP 4+4 and 4+8 to first tier clients, the market situation for mobile DRAM --in terms of both its supply and demand--has turned out to be relatively healthy. The mobile DRAM market’s supplies, in particular, are anticipated to become increasingly stable as SK Hynix gradually recovers its DRAM production following the September fire accident. Taking the aforementioned developments into account, the Mobile DRAM contract prices are projected to undergo various noticeable downward revisions throughout January.
In 2Q14, the LPDDR3 demand momentum will likely increase rapidly as Qualcomm releases its LPDDR3 compatible chips to tackle the high-end smartphone and 4G-LTE markets, and as LPDDR3 prices reach close to that of LPDDR2. LPDDR3 will likely replace LPDDR2 as the mainstream product in the market during 2H14.