PC BUYERS can expect DRAM prices to continue increasing as demand for the tech continues to outstrip supply.
According to research from DRAMeXchange, this increase in demand is helping DRAM makers such as Samsung and SK Hynix rake in third quarter revenues of as high as $19.2bn.
Prices, according to DRAMeXchange, increased by around five per cent in the third quarter, and buyers can expect to pay even more in 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.
The market research firm claims that this demand comes down to the electronics industry getting ready for the busy holiday season, adding that this year has been one of the biggest yet 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 with a combined share of 75 per cent, while 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.
"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 seven 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."
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." c
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