Sales revenue of mobile DRAM increased 5.1 percent quarter on quarter to $8.869 billion in the second quarter of 2018, according to DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce.
6 GB memory has become a mainstream density for the high-end smartphone market, with the share of 8 GB becoming higher than in 2017.
Demand for mobile DRAM in the third quarter will be bleak due to the anticipated modest growth in the smartphone market despite the demands from the new iPhone models from US-based Apple.
Mobile-DRAM contract prices will be unchanged sequentially in the third quarter due to the release of new capacities and the improved yield rates of processes at various manufacturing plants.
Samsung generated $5.043 billion in revenues from its mobile DRAM in Q2, consolidating its leading position. Samsung’s DRAM business revenue grew despite the moderate price hikes for the Q2 and Q3 price quotes.
Samsung’s mobile DRAM has shifted to the 1X nm process almost entirely, with only a small amount of its LPDDR3 eMCP still employing the 20 nm process. Samsung started to employ the new 1Y nm process in production on a trial basis. The company is not expected to provide its early 1Ynm samples for verification by smartphone brands until Q4 this year.
SK Hynix’s growth in Q1 and Q2 was influenced by the limited improvements of the yield rate for its 1X nm process in the first half, which have led to the insufficient output of the LPDDR4 series and the limited delivery amount of high-density DRAM.
SK Hynix’s mobile-DRAM revenues rose 1.4 percent sequentially to $2.152 billion, ranking second place. SK Hynix’s share of the 1X nm process for the LPDDR4 series will begin to increase in Q3, due to the increased yield rate of the technology.
SK Hynix will gradually shift towards the 1X nm process for its LPDDR3 series, which is still employing the 25 nm process, in order to enhance its cost advantage and market share.
Micron’s mobile DRAM revenue rose 10.2 percent sequentially to $1.551 billion due to the stock-up demands of Apple for the new iPhone models and the market’s average price hikes. Micron will raise the share of its LPDDR4 series and is expected to stop supplying the LPDDR3 series to branded smartphone customers from mid-2019.