PC buyers and enthusiasts can expect DRAM prices to continue increasing, according to market research firm DRAMeXchange.
According to the research, demand continues to outstrip supply, helping DRAM makers, such as Samsung and SK Hynix, to revenues of as high as $19.2bn in the third quarter of this year.
Prices, according to DRAMeXchange, increased by around five per cent in the third quarter, and buyers can expect to pay even more for the foreseeable future.
Nevertheless, despite the rising prices, producers were able to sell everything they could make: sales of memory chips grew by 16 per cent in the third quarter, despite the moribund PC market.
To ensure sufficient inventory, smartphone makers generally have no choice but to accept the price increases
The market research firm claims that this demand comes down to the electronics industry getting ready for the busy holiday season.
This year, DRAMeXchange found, has been one of the biggest years for DRAM growth.
This is largely thanks to the requirement for computer memory in ever-more electronics products. Indeed, the supply pinch has been led more by demand for memory for smartphones than for conventional PCs and laptops.
South Korean companies such as Samsung and SK Hynix are leading this market, taking a three-quarter market share in the third quarter.
The latest fourth quarter DRAM market outlook indicates that the overall sequential price increase will average around 10 per cent
Micron Technology - better known in the PC market by its Crucial brand name - boasted a 13 per cent market share. Micron is expected to gain a bigger slice of the market in the fourth quarter.
Avril Wu, research director of DRAMeXchange, said: "The latest fourth quarter DRAM market outlook indicates that the overall sequential price increase will average around 10 per cent."
"Most PC OEMs have concluded negotiating their contract prices with DRAM suppliers for this fourth quarter," said Wu in a statement.
"Contracts with first-tier DRAM suppliers show that the prices of PC DRAM modules have now risen above US$30 and maintained around US$30.5 on average, amounting to a 7 per cent hike from the third quarter.
"This price increase is mainly attributed to the influence of the booming mobile DRAM market, which is in turn fueled by the limited product supply and the releases of flagship smartphones during the traditional busy season of this year's second half."
Prices of mobile DRAM products could go up by 10 per cent to 20 per cent in the fourth quarter
During the third quarter, Samsung grew its revenue in this area by 15.2 per cent, and SK Hynix enjoyed a growth rate of 22.5 per cent. They remain the marked leaders.
Wu added: "To ensure sufficient inventory, smartphone makers generally have no choice but to accept the price increases.
"Depending on the capacity specifications, prices of mobile DRAM products could go up by 10 per cent to 20 per cent in the fourth quarter compared with the third.
"As for the server DRAM market, strong demand during the fourth quarter also will push up contract prices of memory modules by six per cent to ten per cent from the previous three-month period."
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