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PC share of DRAM biz falls below 50%

First time since the early 80s

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PCs, once the final destination for almost all of the world's memory chips, now consume less than half of the world's DRAM shipments.

During Q2, only 49 per cent of DRAM shipments ended up in desktop and laptop PCs, down from 50.2 per cent in Q1, market watcher IHS iSuppli said this weekend.

This at a time when new machines typically come with more memory than ever before.

It's easy to lay the blame on the rise of the tablet and the smartphone, but these devices use relatively little memory compared to PCs: 512MB to 1GB, compared to 4-8GB for PCs.

And the PC's share of DRAM shipments slumped to around 55 per cent in 2008, from which it has been falling very slightly ever since, until the Q1 2012 drop to 50.2 per cent.

It's the end of an era, said iSuppli's Clifford Leimbach. "PCs are no longer generating the kind of growth and overwhelming market size that can single-handedly drive demand, pricing and technology trends in some of the major technology businesses.”

Leimbach expects the PC's share of DRAM shipments to have fallen to 42.8 per cent by Q4 2013.

"However, it’s important to note that PCs will remain the largest single market for DRAM at least through the end of 2013, and overall DRAM bit shipments for personal computers will continue to grow," he said. ®

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