The memory market has traditionally seen razor thin margins and cheap prices as the various manufacturers crank out DRAM chips to healthy levels. While we are not yet at the point for DDR4 memory to come out with high early-adopter prices, iSuppli believes that we will be seeing increased pricing later this year regardless.
A DDR3 memory module
According to Tom’s Hardware, analysts working for IHS iSuppli have determined that inventory is decreasing this year, and has decreased 4 percent since the fourth quarter of last year. Whereas DRAM suppliers were estimated to have 12.1 weeks of inventory in Q4 2011, they are currently sitting on 11.6 weeks. While supply grew last year and prices fell dramatically, prices have increased by 1.5 percent versus last year. The analysts further expect prices to rise by 7.7 percent and 3.5 percent in Q3 2012 and Q4 2012 respectively.
One possible aspect of the drop in supply is the declaration of bankruptcy and subsequent buyout of Elpida Memory by Micron. As supply goes down and demand stays the same – or continues to rise – prices are naturally going to increase for consumers. Now that there is one less manufacturer to contend with, it is likely that prices will continue to be higher than before. If you have not already upgraded your RAM, now seems to be as good as it’s going to get price-wise, so be sure to jump in on the good deals while you can!