The third quarter saw a drop in 3D NAND shipments due to a market downturn.
Demand for 3D NAND memory fell in the third quarter as PC and smartphone sales slowed. As a result, both the average selling prices (ASPs) of flash memory and its bit shipments fell, severely reducing the revenue of 3D NAND manufacturers.
According to TrendForce, manufacturers of 3D NAND supplied $13.71 billion in memory in Q3 2022, a decrease of 24.3% quarter over quarter. This is due to a 6.7% sequential decline in 3D NAND bit shipments, while average prices fell by 18.3% QoQ as 3D NAND makers had to lower prices to make their products more appealing.
During the quarter, Samsung maintained its position as the leading manufacturer of NAND flash, with a 31.4% market share. Meanwhile, its 3D NAND revenue fell by 28.1% year on year. In the third quarter of 2022, Samsung, which sells some of the best SSDs on the market, saw both bit shipments and ASP declines.
Kioxia, on the other hand, increased its market share from 15.6% in Q2 to 20.6% in Q3. Furthermore, according to TrendForce data, the company’s 3D NAND revenue totaled $2.83 billion, a decrease of only 0.1% quarter over quarter. While Kioxia’s ASPs fell dramatically during the quarter, the company sold a large amount of memory for consumer applications.
NAND flash memory sales at SK Group, which owns SK Hynix and Solidigm, fell 29.8% quarter over quarter to $2.54 billion. As a result, the company’s share fell 18.5% from 19.9% in the second quarter to 18.5% now. Furthermore, SK Group’s position deteriorated significantly in Q3 as sales of memory and solid-state drives for consumer products (primarily sold by SK Hynix) and shipments of enterprise-grade SSDs (primarily sold by Solidigm) fell.
Western Digital and Micron performed similarly in the third quarter, with sales falling 28.3% and 26.2%, respectively, quarter over quarter, and both companies lost market share to Kioxia in Q3 2022.
Smaller 3D NAND manufacturers suffered the most in the third quarter, with sales falling 37.1% year on year. As a result, they now control 4.6% of the market, a 1% decrease from the second quarter of 2022.
TrendForce expects 3D NAND revenue to fall in the fourth quarter as demand remains weak, and reductions in 3D NAND wafer starts are not expected to provide immediate relief. As a result of the slowing demand and lockdowns in China, analysts expect contract 3D NAND prices to fall by 20% to 25% QoQ. Furthermore, unlike its competitors, Samsung has not announced any cuts in 3D NAND output for the fourth quarter and beyond.