Friday, December 28, 2012
Although TrendForce has conservative forecast for next year, the market research firm has revealed that smartphones and tablets are expected to show stable growth, while the penetration rate for ultrabooks is set to increase gradually by the quarter. As such, TrendForce is optimistic about the prospects for eMMC and SSD, and forecasts overall NAND flash bit demand growth to top 47.6 per cent YoY.
With regard to the NAND flash supply side, it is predicted that the 12in wafer production growth will be about four per cent in 2013. Should next year's capital expenditure turn out to be 22 per cent lower than this year's, the overall bit supply growth is likely to be around 41 per cent YoY. With market supply-demand balance, NAND flash ASP is estimated to dip by 22 per cent, which is significantly less than the 39.7 per cent drop exhibited last year.
On the supply side, manufacturers have been facing a lot of pressures following the major NAND flash price downtrend caused by the 1H12 oversupply. During July, Toshiba announced it would be implementing a 30 per cent production cut, whereas the other manufacturers opted to put a temporary halt to their capacity expansion plans. As TrendForce indicates, for 2013, NAND flash supply vendors will continue to have reservations about the future market prospects. With the proportion of the 20nm production process set to break the 80 per cent mark and expected to fulfil the majority of market demand, the attitude towards the prospects of new production processes is noticeably even more conservative. For 2013, TrendForce estimates that annual wafer production will increase only by four per cent compared to this year, with around 1.2 million units being the 12in wafers. On the whole, the 2013 NAND flash bit supply growth is set to be 41 per cent.
On the demand side, benefiting from the growth exhibited by mid-to-low end models, the 2013 smartphone shipment is expected to climb from 674 million to 892 million units, a 32 per cent increase. Other than the support of eMMC by high-end smartphones models, many mid-to-low end smartphones are beginning to show increased improvement in their hardware specs. The eMMC penetration rate within the smartphone market, as such, will likely grow to 66 per cent next year, and even break the 70 per cent mark.
In spite of the hype surrounding the iPad4 and iPad mini, Android and Win8 tablets are closely catching up in terms of popularity. In 2013, tablet shipment growth is expected to grow by 44 per cent, increasing from 100 million to 143 million units. The increase of eMMC density, on the other hand, is expected to rise in accordance to consumer need. TrendForce predicts NAND flash consumption for tablets to be 50 per cent more than the amount in 2012.
Although TrendForce initially predicted stalled momentum for the 2013 notebook market, with the support from Intel and the PC ecosystem, along with the decreased costs for various key components, ultrabook penetration rate is predicted to go on a gradual increase, climbing from six per cent in 2012 to nearly 18 per cent in 2013. Shipment volume, similarly, will likely show more than three times the growth next year compared to 2012. The NAND flash 2013 consumption rate, as a result, is projected to exhibit vast improvements, with a possible growth exceeding 65 per cent.
Assuming that demand momentum is certain, and that supply is properly regulated, a stable growth is projected for the 2013 NAND flash industry. The NAND flash output value is likely to revert from negative to positive, growing by 15 per cent to $24 billion.
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