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Samsung retains insane DRAM margin in spite of dwindling Q3 2020 sales

Samsung’s global leadership in the DRAM market survived the third quarter of the year, in spite of an all-around sales drop the company experienced, new industry data reveals. DRAM chip sales in Q3 2020 amounted to approximately $7.21 billion, a 3.1% decrease compared to the same period in 2019. The NAND flash market experienced a similar trend, with Samsung’s share of its global sales shrinking by 2.2% annually, but not enough to displace it from the number one spot.

That’s all according to a new Q3 2020 report authored by established market watcher TrendForce. The same data set indicates Samsung’s largest DRAM rival, SK Hynix, remained in second place overall, seizing some 28.2% of the market, 1.9% down year-over-year.

Samsung’s margin remains at unprecedented levels

The dynamic between Samsung and SK Hynix might become more intensive moving forward due to the latter’s acquisition of Intel’s NAND flash memory business – as mediocre as it is – in a $9 billion deal announced last month. Both companies experienced a decline most notably associated with an overall decrease to the average selling price of electronics using their tech, even as shipment volumes saw some marginal increases during the third quarter of the year, according to TrendForce’s interpretation of the data at hand.

At the same time, Samsung’s most notable quarterly achievement in the field has to be its ability to retain a 41% operating margin. For added reference, SK Hynix’s own margin dropped by six percentage points to 29% during the observed period, continuing to follow the correction prompted by server industry trends. Whether Samsung can maintain this performance level with even more optimization efforts remains to be seen but it’s certainly the best-positioned DRAM manufacturer to do so.

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