NAND flash consumption in handsets rising Josephine Lien, Taipei; Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES [Tuesday 3 January 2012]
Mobile handsets will consume as high as 50% of the total supply of NAND flash memory in the first quarter of 2012, buoyed by demand from smartphones, according to DRAMeXchange.
Embedded flash solutions, in particular, have received a boost thanks to the growing smartphone market, DRAMeXchange indicated. Embedded MMC (eMMC), for instance, has seen its broader adoption in smartphones, the research firm said.
DRAMeXchange forecasts that the smartphone market will expand to about 592 million units in 2012 from 427 million in 2010, driven by rising sales of entry-level and mid-range models in emerging markets.
In addition to handset, the NAND flash market will also be ignited by demand from consumer solid-state drives (SSD), DRAMeXchange indicated. Demand for SSDs will be spurred by upcoming rollouts of new ultrabooks that will be showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in early January, DRAMeXchange said.
In other news, late December contract prices for mainstream MLC chips fell 3-8% as buyers remained cautious about building inventory, according to DRAMeXchange. Prices over the short term will stay under downward pressure, the firm estimated.
NAND flash contract prices might trend upward if end-market sales during the Lunar New Year holidays turn brisk, DRAMeXchange said. Downstream device manufacturers and distributors actually keep their inventories low at present, the firm added.