DRAMeXchange, a research division of TrendForce, indicates U.S. NAND flash vendors are being less aggressive on price since the financial quarter has come to a close. As module makers expect the price trend will continue declining and they have ample inventory, the majority are waiting until the end of the month to begin price negotiations. Thus, there was little activity in the first half of December, and NAND flash contract prices either stayed flat or fell by 0-2%.
With inventory stocking for the holiday sales season in the U.S. and Europe finished, smartphone, tablet, and PC sales are each expected to drop by at least 10% in the first quarter of 2015, said Alan Chen, Senior Manager at DRAMeXchange. As a result, eMMC, eMCP, and SSD demand from system OEM clients has been weak. To reduce inventory pressure, NAND flash suppliers are increasing supply to module clients. However, with weak memory card and universal flash drive sales, module makers are adopting more conservative purchasing strategies to avoid losses due to falling prices. As overall demand from OEM and channel clients has dropped significantly, Chen expects the NAND flash price decline will continue into the first quarter of 2015.