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RAM prices set to 'free fall'

Tablet love is cutting suppliers' throats

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Not content with merely rolling downhill, the price of RAM is set to drop off a cliff as the PC market slows, according to IHS iSuppli.

The average selling price for DDR3 with 2 gigabit density, which is the bellwether DRAM product, is projected to drop to $1.60 in the third quarter, down 24 per cent from $2.10 in the second quarter.

"A dramatic oversupply and free-falling prices are in store during the third quarter for the DRAM space, resulting in a turbulent second half for besieged DRAM suppliers," the analysis house said.

The fourth quarter could see pricing continue its tumultuous tumble another 22 per cent to $1.25 – "dangerously close to cash costs for many manufacturers".

Just a year ago, the price of typical memory for laptops and PCs was $4.70, but recessional woes and tablet-love have combined to cut the throat of PC demand. What little demand there is exists more in the lower end of the market, where big RAM is not a priority.

"A weakening DRAM market will encourage manufacturers to optimise their product mix, moving toward increased production of a higher-margin memory such as NAND flash," said IHS.

Tablets and smartphones often use NAND flash memory, and laptop-manufacturers have also featured it in ultra-thin notebooks or netbooks pitched as alternatives to tablets. ®

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