Korean semiconductor companies are fiercely competing with U.S. and Japanese firms in the NAND flash market. In the third quarter, SK Hynix was able to reach a double-digit market share thanks to increased sales, but Samsung Electronics' share fell to below 30 percent.
According to semiconductor e-commerce site DRAMeXchange on Nov. 19, Samsung's market share in Q3 was 29.7 percent, down 1.1 percent from Q2.
This is the first time for the Korean chip maker to witness its share in the NAND flash market slip below 30 percent, after it recorded 27.6 percent in Q1 2012. Samsung turned over US$2.457 billion (2.7027 trillion won) in Q3 from the sale of NAND flash, an 8.2 percent increase from the previous quarter.
SK Hynix accounted for 10.3 percent of the market in the same period, reclaiming a double-digit market share for the first time after it posted an 11.4 percent share in Q3, 2013.
In the meantime, Toshiba in the runner-up position has been narrowing the gap with Samsung in the global market. The gap between the two companies was 13.6 percent in Q2 2012, but the difference has been smaller. In Q1 2013, the Japanese company's share increased to 23.4 percent, while the Korean firm only made up 30.2 percent of the market.
Samsung ranked first in the global NAND flash market in Q3, followed by Toshiba, SanDisk, Micron, SK Hynix, and Intel. The semiconductor market is divided by the NAND flash and DRAM markets. US-based semiconductor company SanDisk is developing NAND flash in partnership with Toshiba, selling memory cards in the retail market.
Toshiba, which developed the industry's first NAND flash memory chips, comprised 22.6 percent of the market, narrowing the gap with Samsung. The gap was more than 10 percent until Q2. Experts are saying that an increased demand for NAND flash in the Chinese market has led to a rise in the sales of the Japanese chip maker. Meanwhile, the price of 64 Gb NAND flash was US$2.96 in early November, a 1.3 percent drop from the previous month.