Apple faces thorny memory future as a Non-Samsung customer

6th September 2013 | By Mouseworld Now Correspondent |

New Delhi, India, September 6, 2013: Apple may be the most influential technology company in the world, but even its formidable status may not help as it tries to out-innovate Samsung, its primary competitor. That’s because any major innovation would likely demand greater memory capabilities—and Apple has no memory making capabilities, while Samsung is the memory market leader, according to a new DRAM Dynamics Brief from IHS Inc., a leading global source of critical information and insight.

Samsung is the leading supplier of both dynamic random access memory (DRAM) as well as NAND flash, both of which are essential components in nearly all of today’s consumer electronics, including smartphones and tablets where Apple enjoys great success, via its best-selling iPhone and iPad devices.

In the first quarter, Samsung’s revenue of $4.6 billion accounted for 36 percent of the total DRAM and NAND memory market of $12.8 billion. To put into perspective Samsung’s gigantic heft, its output exceeded that of No. 2 SK Hynix and No. 3 Toshiba combined. Samsung was also bigger than the accumulated totals of Toshiba, No. 4 Micron Technology and fifth-ranked Elpida Memory, as presented in the attached figure.

While the argument can be made that Apple sees some benefits by not sharing critical prototype design information with Samsung, the fact remains that Apple limits its options by not doing business with Samsung, which places Apple at a disadvantage,” said Mike Howard, senior principal analyst, DRAM & Memory, for IHS. “The difficulties presented by this challenge become even more acute considering that the memory industry continues to consolidate, especially in DRAM. The recent closing of Micron’s acquisition of bankrupt Elpida means there are now just three major DRAM developers and four NAND developers left. As Apple’s memory suppliers get bigger because of consolidation, they are likely to gain more bargaining leverage. This is a trend all memory buyers will face, and Apple— even with its heft—is not exempt.

 

© Mouseworld Now News Service

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