Memory prices rise

nand-chipsPrices of NAND and DRAM memory are going up as a result of an apparent shortage. Supplies of NAND modules seem to be particularly hard hit because of strong demand for SSDs, tablets and smartphones.

ADATA Chairman Simon Chen told Focus Taiwan that supply will remain tight over the next few months. He warned that DRAM supply might even become tighter in Q3, provided no new production lines open in the meantime. Chen warned that the spot price for DDR3 2Gb modules has already reached a new high of $1.81 over the weekend.

What’s more, on Monday, Taipei-based Commercial Times reported that Samsung will reduce supplies of both DRAM and NAND modules to Taiwan and China starting this month. Samsung has apparently already cut production of standard DRAM modules to free up capacity for mobile DRAM and NAND modules, needed for upcoming Galaxy products.

Samsung is gearing up to introduce two new Galaxy tablets along with the third generation Galaxy Note phablet. Sales of Samsung’s Galaxy S4 are strong, placing more demand on the company’s memory business. The Galaxy S4 has already sold 10 million units and some analysts believe Samsung might shift 80 million before the year is out.

Taiwanese tech companies like HTC, Asus and Acer are already feeling the pinch, compounded by the fact that Apple has scooped up almost 50 percent of NAND production capacity of other memory makers like Toshiba, SanDisk and SK Hynix. Cupertino has bought up about 80 percent of Elpida’s DRAM production and major US memory makers like Intel and Micron are not in a position to help, since their modules are ending up in their own SSDs.