Avril Wu, the Assistant Vice President of DRAMeXchange, says he expects mobile DRAM to see stable price trends in 2015. It should be noted that mobile DRAM currently accounts for over 40% of total DRAM production.
“Along with server DRAM, mobile memory will bring much needed price stability to the memory industry,” DRAMeXchange researchers explained in a recent analysis.
“Whether or not DRAM suppliers will continue to see profit growth this year will be highly dependent on their LPDDR4 shipment ratios – whoever can take advantage of the initial premiums will come out on top.”
In addition, DRAMeXchange analysts predict a price premium – reflecting higher initial production costs – when the newest generation of memory products enters the supply chain.
“The latest generation of mobile DRAM, LPDDR4, is arriving in the second quarter,” the DRAMeXchange researchers continued. “Advanced memory will have a 30-35% premium over LPPDDR3 in its first quarter on the market, which will significantly help stabilize the mobile DRAM price trend.”
In terms of memory in specific devices, DRAMeXchange expects Apple’s new iPhone to pack 2GB (16Gb) of LPDDR4, with other high-end smartphone manufacturers likely following suit.
“Samsung and LG, for instance, will be respectively upgrading the Galaxy S6 and G4 to 3GB of LPDDR4. Xiaomi’s Note and Lenovo’s Vibe Z3 Pro are both expected to come with 4GB of LPDDR4,” the DRAMeXchange analysts added.
“With this upgrade wave, some high-end smartphones will consume the same amount of DRAM as notebooks (which typically come with 4GB of PC DRAM). This should be more than enough to correct the slight oversupply on the current mobile memory market.”
Loren Shalinsky, a Strategic Development Director at Rambus, told us that the industry continues to demand higher performance memory for the smartphone market – with higher quality displays and video encoding applications pushing the envelope of capabilities.
“Over time, we expect the price premium of LPDDR4 over LPDDR3 to come down, which will help expand the market for the newer, LPDDR4 devices,” he concluded.