Components | June 20, 2012

Flat to decreased mainstream NAND Flash contract price for 1HJun

According to DRAMeXchange, due to NAND Flash buyers’ anticipation of quarter-end effects and continually sluggish memory card and UFD market demand, NAND Flash contract price fell by 2-5% in 1HJun.
NAND Flash buyers are adopting conservative inventory control strategies, as the end of June marks the close of the financial quarter for many NAND Flash suppliers and buyers. Additionally, buyers expect suppliers to offer more attractive prices before the end of June, but as NAND Flash vendors are placing more priority on profits, they have been notably less willing to engage in price wars.

These factors have resulted in fewer NAND Flash market transactions in 1HJun. TrendForce expects the NAND Flash contract price decline may slow in the future, dependent on 3Q12 demand momentum.

2Q12 UFD Market Declines due to Off-Peak Season and Global Economic Woes

In addition to the fact that global economic uncertainties have increased due to the European debt crisis, 2Q12 is traditionally the off-peak season for the USB flash drive (UFD) market, resulting in a significant decrease in market demand after China’s May Day holiday.

To stimulate demand, major UFD brand manufacturers have adopted more aggressive pricing strategies. Additionally, 20nm-class TLC product output has increased, providing brand makers with additional price leverage. However, their pricing strategy has not yielded significant results – UFD shipments fell by approximately 10% QoQ in 2Q12.

As the product ratio for 20nm-class 64Gb TLC increases, 8GB shipment figures will exceed that of 4GB, becoming the mainstream specification in 2Q12. Looking ahead, the UFD market peak sales season is around the corner, and market demand is expected to gradually increase.

However, worldwide economic concerns caused by Euro debt troubles will remain the most important factor affecting the UFD market in the second half of the year. Also worth keeping an eye on, in addition to impact from the delayed release of Intel’s Ivy Bridge platform, the rise of cloud storage services such as Google Drive and Dropbox will present further challenges to the UFD market.
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