Samsung maintains lead in smartphone memory market

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Samsung continued to lead in the smartphone memory market during the first quarter of 2020. The company captured more than 50% percent share of the global smartphone memory market. SK Hynix and Micron Technology stood at second and third positions, respectively. Combined, Samsung Semiconductor, SK Hynix, and Micron captured 84% of the revenue from the segment.The South Korean chip giant had a 55% revenue share in the smartphone memory market, while SK Hynix and Micron had 25% and 19% revenue shares, respectively. The total market revenue of the segment saw a 4% decline due to seasonality and demand shift to other categories. The COVID-19 situation led to a drop in smartphone sales, which was also one of the reasons for a dip in smartphone memory revenue.Samsung managed to draw attention to its LPDDR5 DRAM memory chips and bagged design wins. Leading smartphone OEMs preferred the South Korean tech giant’s memory chips due to higher performance in comparison. Some smartphone brands made large orders to cope up with future COVID-19 disruptions, leading to good memory chip sales. While overall smartphone sales are expected to decline, market analysts expect an uptick in demand for high-end memory chips like LPDDR5 and UFS 3.0.In the smartphone NAND flash storage chip segment, the market experienced a 4% growth during Q1 2020 when compared to Q1 2019. The growth in the NAND flash chip market was due to price stabilization and the demand for higher capacity chips. According to the numbers from Strategy Analytics, Samsung led the market with a revenue share of 44%. Kioxia (formerly Toshiba Memory Corporation) and SK Hynix had revenue shares of 25% and 16%, respectively.It is being expected that smartphone sales would drop even further over the next few months, causing a fall in demand for smartphone memory and storage chips. Samsung is focussing on high-end memory chips, and it started mass producing 16GB LPDDR5 chips earlier this year using 10nm technology. These chips are expected to be used in flagship smartphones from various brands.

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