Global mobile DRAM revenue hit a new high of US$8 billion in 4Q17, a robust sequential growth of 23.6%, says DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce. In 4Q17, the major suppliers raised their prices by 10-15% on average, driven by expected strong demand from the smartphone market during the traditional busy season, and continuing brisk demands from North American datacenters.
According to DRAMeXchange, Micron staged the best performance, scoring 58.8% growth in sales, which drove down combined revenue share of the two leading suppliers Samsung and SK Hynix to 82.5%, down from Q3's 85.6%.
Sales of Taiwanese suppliers Nanya Technology and Winbond remained flat, as their products are not meant for use in mainstream smartphones. The combined share of their revenues was below 5%.
In 1Q18, global mobile DRAM revenues are expected to grow slower due to weaker demands on the smartphone market. Most smartphone brands have made adjustments to their production plans and postponed the restocking of materials, because of the rising inventories of their mobile DRAM and other components. In addition, the prospects for a major contract-price hike in Q1 has been dampened.
On the other hand, 1Q18 contract prices of PC DRAM rise by about 5% compared with 4Q17. The prices of server DRAM increase by 3-5% QoQ in 1Q18 due to the restocking demand from datacenters in North America. DRAMeXchange estimates that overall revenue of DRAM industry will grow by over 30% in 2018, reaching US$96 billion.