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Samsung Continues Outpacing NAND Flash Rivals

March 7, 2016 - Written By Daniel Fuller

Between stellar preorder numbers for the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, posting great profits before the end of 2015 despite overall growth loss, and pulling out a rare win against Apple in court, it wouldn’t be too big of a stretch to say that Samsung is on top of the their game right now, both in and out of the mobile space. Continuing their dominance, Q4 2015 results for their NAND flash memory business show them putting even more distance between themselves and their closest rivals. If they’re to be knocked off of the throne, it won’t be an easy task; this is a space where Samsung often innovates, then leaves others to follow and perfects manufacturing processes for mass-production before most rivals even have products in the testing phase.

According to industry data firm DRAMeXchange, Samsung’s presence in the NAND flash storage space accounts for about 33.6 percent of the market. Considering the fact that most smartphones, tablets, handheld game consoles and portable terminals used in commercial applications features internal NAND flash as a storage method, that number means that Samsung’s NAND flash chips are in a staggering number of devices. As mentioned above, Samsung often develops the first versions of new types or capacities of storage, leaving competitors scrambling to innovate – such was the case with the very first 64GB NAND chip to be manufactured using a 10 nanometer process, among others.

Samsung’s top three rivals in the space ate up a substantial portion of the market, but came nowhere near matching Sammy’s numbers. Sandisk got their hands on a cool 15.8 percent of the market, while Micron Technology Inc. took home 13.9 percent of the market. Rounding out the top three was SK Hynix, with 10.1 percent of the global NAND flash storage market. In an ironic twist of fate that shows just how far competition can take markets, NAND flash inventor Toshiba recently saw a huge drop, leaving them with only 9.2 percent of the market they created. This show of force by the top five players in the field leaves the lesser-known NAND flash makers out there with only 17.4 percent of the global market to compete for, a little over half of Samsung’s total share.