Samsung predicts memory oversupply

We applauded the recent drop in memory prices in our new system guide yesterday. Apparently, prices could be headed down further still. DigiTimes says Samsung semiconductor chief Oh-Hyun Kwon stated at a media conference that DRAM supply may start outstripping demand later this year:

Kwon pointed out that total DRAM output worldwide will certainly grow sequentially in the third quarter, as suppliers ramp up their production using more advanced processes. However, if PC sales continue to slow, the DRAM sector will see an oversupply through the first quarter of 2011, according to Kwon.

Oversupply is precisely what caused the rock-bottom memory prices we enjoyed throughout 2008 and 2009. Memory makers were hit pretty hard by that episode, with one of them, Qimonda, even filing for insolvency in January of last year.

As a consumer, a return to $50 4GB DDR3 memory kits wouldn't be unwelcome. That said, memory manufacturers going bankrupt probably doesn't help anyone in the long run. Let's hope prices can become more attractive without the memory industry collapsing into itself this time.

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