TAIPEI – NAND flash supplies will tighten in the fourth quarter as a result of increased demand for smartphones and solid-state drives (SSDs), says DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce. Suppliers are expected to experience higher margins and revenues in the fourth quarter.

The short supply and strong demand will contribute to rising prices of NAND flash wafers and memory cards through the rest of 2016. The firm expects prices to rise for eMMC, eMCP and SSD products.

“Smartphone demand has remained fairly strong and is the main reason why the NAND Flash market started to boom in the second half of 2016,” said Sean Yang, research director of DRAMeXchange.

He added sales of the iPhone 7 are at a steady, expected level, and the upgrade of iPhone 7’s storage options accounts for a sharp increase in Apple’s consumption of NAND flash.

Demand is also attributed to orders from Chinese smartphone brands, including Huawei, Oppo and Vivo, driving demand for high-capacity eMMC and eMCP products.

This week Samsung said it would stop sales of the Galaxy Note 7, but this is not expected to halt price increases for smartphone components, including NAND flash, DRAM and AMOLED panels, says TrendForce.

Demand from SSD manufacturers continues to increase. DRAMeXchange expects the SSDs for notebook computers worldwide will exceed 30% for the first time, reaching nearly 33% in 2016.

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