NAND flash vendors cutting chip prices

NAND flash chip vendors are now more willing to lower the prices of their NAND flash parts due to rising inventory levels, according to industry sources, adding that the price of 32Gb NAND flash has dropped to as low as US$4.30 per unit recently.Sales of flash memory cards and USB drives in the Europe and US markets have remained in the doldrums, the sources indicated. Neither summer sales nor back-to-school demand has picked up, implying a particularly weak third quarter, the sources observed.Meanwhile, sales in China have been slow due to a government probe of IC component smuggling between July and August, the sources said. With the challenging sales situation, NAND chip suppliers have decided to cut prices to attract orders from their module clients.But NAND chip demand from system OEMs is still brisk, the sources noted. Major chip suppliers including Samsung Electronics and Toshiba still have better bargaining chips than their contract customers in price negotiations, the sources indicated.According to DRAMeXchange, late August contract prices for 16Gb to 64Gb multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash chips all slid while the 8Gb segment remained flat. Prices for 32Gb 2-bit per cell chips averaged at US$5.92 in the second half of August, while 32Gb 3-bit per cell parts were quoted at US$4.90 on average.

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