Memory price 'correction' is coming, world's fourth-largest DRAM-maker warns

DRAM drama or pricing karma? Whatever your view, kinked supply chains aren't helping

The world's fourth-largest memory maker, Taiwan's Nanya Technology Corporation, has predicted a price "correction" in late 2021.

Speaking at the announcement of the company's Q3 results last Friday, Nanya president Dr. Pei-Ing Lee said sales of consumer electronics, servers, and smartphone sectors remain sparky.

But demand is low as component shortages strike, exacerbated by COVID-related electronic factory disruptions across SE Asia.

High inflation and geopolitical tensions haven't helped matters either, by slowing the global economy.

"We are expecting the DRAM market [to] enter short-term, minor correction in Q4, 21," concluded Lee. Taiwan-based Nanya Technology is the fourth largest DRAM company and regularly ranked by industry analysts behind top market share players Samsung, SK hynix and Micron.

If DRAM prices do drop, it's good news for those still in the market for servers – memory can be the most expensive component of big boxen. It also has the potential to make next year's smartphone models a little cheaper, or memory-generous.

The news is less good for investors, as Samsung reported record-breaking group revenues this year on the back of memory prices and demand, despite challenges like the February 2021 shutdown of its Austin foundry fab.

Lee's statement reflects analysis from the likes of DRAMeXchange and Gartner. Last month a memo published by Gartner predicted "a significant price reduction" in memory due to oversupply and advised hardware manufacturers to design products with more memory or improve quality of other components if they want to continue charging their new normal prices. ®

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