According to market research firm DRAMeXchange’s recent report, Samsung Electronics accounted for 31.5 percent of the global NAND flash market in the third quarter of this year, followed by Toshiba (20.5 percent), SanDisk (15.4 percent), Micron (13.8 percent), SK Hynix (10.9 percent) and Intel (7.8 percent).
Samsung Electronics’ market share and sales declined by 1.1 percentage point and about 1 percent from a quarter ago, respectively. Toshiba increased its sales by 10 percent during the same period, when SanDisk boosted its sales by no less than 17.7 percent in spite of a 22 percent decline in the average selling price of NAND flash memories. Its sales growth amounts to 49 percent on a bit basis. SanDisk raised the ratio of microfabrication processes at a level of 15 nm up to 60 percent, too.
Micron recorded a decrease in sales of 6.5 percent in the third quarter, allowing SanDisk to take the third place instead of itself. The gap between SanDisk and Samsung Electronics was reduced from 19.2 percentage points to 16.1 percentage points between the second and third quarters.
SanDisk was recently acquired by Western Digital at a price of US$19 billion. The Tsinghua Unigroup has 15 percent of shares of Western Digital now via its subsidiary Unisplendour, which means the Tsinghua Unigroup can exert a substantial influence on SanDisk. Although industry insiders say that SanDisk’s management rights are still out of China and the company still has a far way to go in terms of memory process technology, Samsung Electronics might have to be concerned over the rise of SanDisk with the Chinese government having raised a fund of 120 billion yuan for the growth of the semiconductor industry.