Home > Mobile memory prices to drop just a little with LPDDR4 launch

Mobile memory prices to drop just a little with LPDDR4 launch

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article image ​WITH next-generation memory just around the corner, mobile DRAM prices are expected to drop, but not by much, says DRAMeXchange analysts.

WITH next-generation memory just around the corner, mobile DRAM prices are expected to drop, but not by much, says DRAMeXchange analysts.

Smartphone shipments have been weak since the beginning of 2015. While the market leaders Apple and Samsung are performing relatively well in Q2 2015, significant growth, like the 25 percent the industry saw in the last two years, is not expected for the quarter.

Much of this slackness is due to the Chinese market, which is grappling with large inventories, and slowing in both domestic and foreign shipments. Cost concerns are driving increased demand for lower end devices, which use LPDDR2 memory that many manufacturers have stopped making.

This means stable price trends for mobile DRAM this year. The average mobile memory selling price will decline, but not by more than 5 percent quarter on quarter.

Currently, mobile DRAM accounts for over 40% of total DRAM production. The profitability of DRAM suppliers will depend on their LPDDR4 shipment ratios – whoever can take advantage of the initial premiums will come out on top.

LPDDR4 is the next generation of mobile DRAM, arriving in the second quarter of 2015. This introduction will be accompanied by a price premium due to the higher initial production costs. In the case of LPDDR4 memory, it will have a 30-35 percent premium over LPDDR3 memory during its first quarter on the market.

The new iPhone for 2015 is expected to use 2GB (16Gb) LPDDR4 memory, with other high-end smartphone makers expected to follow the trend. Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and LG’s G4, for example, will upgrade to 3GB of LPDDR4 memory. The continued ramp-up of memory in phones will help clear inventory and correct oversupply issues.

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