Samsung, which has dominated the DRAM manufacturing for years, held 45.0 percent of the market in the third quarter, according to IHS.
The company was able to contain the DRAM downturn much better than its rivals, even if Samsung saw its DRAM sales drop sequentially from more than $3.4 billion in Q3 2010 to $3.1 billion in Q3 2011. In Q3 of 2010, Samsung was estimated to have generated more than $4.3 billion in DRAM sales.
Hynix, in second place, faced a sequential decline of 22.6 percent from $2.2 billion to $1.5 billion, while Elpida in third was slammed with a 29.8 percent drop from $1.7 billion to $823 million.
“Samsung perennially has the DRAM industry’s largest capital expenditure budget, allowing it to reduce costs and offer advanced products more quickly than the competition,” said Mike Howard, principal analyst for DRAM and memory at IHS. “Because of this, the company was better able to absorb the decline in average selling prices in the third quarter, which fell 26 percent for the DRAM industry as a whole. "
Howard noted that “DRAM demand in the third quarter was undercut by anemic sales of PCs—which represent the primary market for the memory type. The consumer appetite for PCs has been dampened by weak economic conditions combined with competition from media tablet devices.”