DRAM market could get boost from Ultrabooks, Windows 8

Summary:DRAM pricing is starting to stabilize -- and rise -- as global supply and demand start to level out, according to IHS iSuppli.

Pricing for dynamic random access memory (DRAM) is starting to strengthen as IHS iSuppli analysts have projected that inventory supply levels are balancing out with global demand.

However, if pricing is strengthening, that really means pricing is increasing. Nevertheless, declining stockpiles of DRAM are a good thing -- especially considering severe drops in demand over the last few quarters.

IHS analysts posited that inventory levels could have been depleted even further -- strengthening the market overall -- if it weren't for the two overwhelming stockpiles left over with two of the largest DRAM suppliers: SK Hynix in South Korea and Idaho-based Micron.

Nevertheless, IHS analysts argued that the DRAM industry is still getting stronger anyway -- especially thanks to enthusiasm surrounding the release of new Ultrabooks and Windows 8. If excitement and demand levels balance out, then the DRAM prices will get higher. SK Hynix and Micron would also have the opportunity to unload some of that extra inventory too.

However, if we won't be seeing Windows 8 until this fall, then we won't know how much the new operating system would affect PC demand until at least early next year.

Right now, average pricing for 1GB of DRAM has been estimated to have risen by 1.5 percent in the second quarter of 2012, following incredible declines of 24 percent and 12.4 percent in the third and fourth quarters of 2011, respectively.

For the rest of the year, IHS analysts are predicting that pricing for the same DRAM capacity will climb by 7.7 percent and 3.5 percent during the third and fourth quarters, respectively.

Topics: Hardware, Tech Industry


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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