SEOUL, March 4 (Korea Bizwire) — Samsung Electronics Co. further expanded its dominance in the global DRAM market in the fourth quarter of 2020, a report showed Thursday, with revenue increase.
The South Korean tech giant, also the leader in the NAND flash sector, had a 42.1 percent share of the global DRAM flash market in terms of revenue in the October-December period, up 0.8 percentage point from a quarter earlier, according to market tracker TrendForce.
Samsung’s revenue from DRAM products came to a total of US$7.44 billion in the last three months of 2020, up 3.1 percent from a quarter earlier.
Another South Korean chipmaker, SK hynix Inc., was the runner-up with a market share of 29.5 percent, up 1.3 percentage points from a quarter ago, after its revenue jumped 5.6 percent quarter-on-quarter to $5.2 billion.
“Although Korean suppliers likewise experienced a quarter-on-quarter decline in DRAM average selling price (ASP), they were able to increase their bit shipment, indicating that their client demand was recovering during this period,” TrendForce said.
“Samsung and SK hynix both increased their bit shipment by a wider margin than previously expected.”
U.S. chipmaker Micron Technology Inc. was the No. 3 player with a market share of 23 percent in the fourth quarter, down 2 percentage points from a quarter earlier, as its revenue declined 7.2 percent quarter-on-quarter to $4.05 billion.
“Moving to the first quarter of 2021, however, Micron is likely to catch up to its Korean competitors in terms of market share, owing to Micron’s pricing strategies, which are the most aggressive among DRAM suppliers, as well as to a general upturn in DRAM quotes,” it said.
Global DRAM revenue reached $17.65 billion in the fourth quarter, a 1.1 percent increase quarter-on-quarter, TrendForce data showed.
“For the most part, this growth took place because Chinese smartphone brands, including Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi, expanded their procurement activities for components in order to seize the market shares made available after Huawei was added to the Entity List by the U.S. Department of Commerce,” it said.
With regard to profits, all suppliers experienced a decline in the October-December period due to the 5-10 percent quarter-on-quarter decline in DRAM ASP, TrendForce added.
In particular, Samsung’s operating profit margin fell from 41 percent in the third quarter to 36 percent in the fourth quarter, while SK hynix saw a decline from 29 percent to 26 percent over the cited period, according to TrendForce.
Looking to the current quarter, TrendForce predicted a slight increase in global DRAM revenue.
“TrendForce expects DRAM bit supply to remain unchanged and prices to enter an upturn compared with the fourth quarter of 2020,” it said.
“However, as the first quarter of 2021 is the first quarter of the upturn in the DRAM market, and demand is yet to emerge out of the off-season, any growth in bit shipment and prices is expected to be modest.”