© RIM Electronics Production | June 13, 2011

Tablet DRAM demand explodes in 2011

Demand for dynamic random access memory (DRAM) generated by tablets will rise by a factor of nine in 2011, fueled by booming sales of the iPad, combined with the arrival of more competitive alternative products, reports IHS iSuppli.
Tablets this year will consume 333.7 million gigabits of DRAM, up from 37.3 million gigabits in 2010. DRAM demand from tablets then will vault to 1.1 billion gigabits in 2012 and continue to climb by leaps and bounds during the next four years, reaching 5.8 billion gigabits by 2015.

Tablet shipments this year are projected to reach 63.2 million units, up from 17.5 million in 2010, and will hit 113.9 million units next year.

iPad competitors on market now include the Galaxy Tab from Samsung Electronics, the Xoom from Motorola, the PlayBook from Research In Motion and the TouchPad from Hewlett-Packard. None of these entrants have seriously endangered the hegemony of the iPad. However, a new competitive tablet device from bookselling and retail giant Amazon could represent the most serious challenge yet for the iPad, potentially driving even more DRAM demand.

Reports indicate that an Amazon store with a broad range of content—including music, digital games, movies, TV shows, books and Android apps—will be available to users of the Amazon tablet at the time of launch. This will represent serious competition to the Apple iTunes store and potentially allow the Amazon tablet to succeed where competing tablets have failed.

While no specs have yet been announced for an Amazon tablet, Amazon’s aptitude for delivering a satisfactory customer experience is well-known. The Amazon tablet will compete on user experience—not necessarily on hardware specs.

With DRAM content in the Amazon tablet expected to be robust—estimated to be 4 gigabits per device, similar to the iPad 2—tablet DRAM demand is likely to remain a bright spot for the memory industry in the years ahead.


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