DRAM, the RAM chips you might find in the phone, tablet or computer you're reading this on, are a bit of a specialty for Samsung. They've historically been first to market with new grades of chips, higher capacities and models that are cheaper to produce, taking the lion's share of the market and largely swaying the price trends toward their own stock. They have seen some fierce competition recently, however. So much so, in fact, that DRAM prices have seen a bit of a decline, heading down into the $1.25 territory since 2014. Because of this trend and some other factors, Samsung recently saw a decline in total sales to the tune of about 16.6 percent year on year from 2015, bringing their total sales for the quarter to about $3.36 million.
Market analysts, however, are predicting that prices are going to rebound soon. While one big factor is the increased demand for higher RAM in smartphones as budget phone makers begin to make 2GB and 3GB of RAM the standard for the sub-$100 market and flagships become more affordable and popular, the efforts of certain manufacturers in changing this trend manually have also helped. Reportedly, SK Hynix, who also saw a drop of around 19.2 percent year on year, dropped their supply down along with Samsung in order to counter the influence of oversupply in the market. With supply lowered and demand rising, analysts are predicting that the rebound could happen later this year in dramatic fashion, especially since Apple reportedly plans to put more RAM into the upcoming iPhone 7 flagship.
While the market for DRAM itself tells part of the story as to how and why the market is fluctuating in such a fashion, it helps to look to DRAM's cousin, NAND Flash. NAND Flash, being the internal memory inside phones, tablets and certain portable laptops like Chromebooks, performs quite quickly and has relatively low storage space next to comparable standards like the solid state drive and hard disk drive. Analyst firm DRAMeXchange projects that both prices and demand for NAND Flash will rise soon, citing higher demand from Chinese companies and Apple, with the upcoming iPhone 7 rumored to feature a variant bearing 256GB of internal storage.