iSuppli: Memory market slumped big-time last quarter

Memory makers have been stuck in a rut for some time, and the economic downturn certainly didn't help them last quarter. iSuppli reports that global DRAM revenue only added up to $4.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008, falling "well short" of the research firm's $5.8 billion forecast. Over the same time period, the market also saw "nearly zero growth" and a 38% drop in average selling prices.

iSuppli says market conditions were so bad that even Samsung—the global DRAM market leader—"completely [missed] its shipment growth guidance, suffering a decline in market share and losing money for the first time in a year." Taiwanese DRAM makers were the hardest hit, with the top three (Nanya, ProMos, and PowerChip) suffering revenue drops in the 50-75% range.

On the other side of the coin, Micron did better than the rest of the market by far, seeing a revenue drop of just 16.4%. The U.S. DRAM supplier also enjoyed market share growth from 10.2% to 13.8% between Q3 and Q4, bringing it closer to number three DRAM supplier Elpida. Global number two Hynix saw the second-smallest revenue decline: a still-massive 32.7%.

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