Samsung Electronics has given up its top spot in global semiconductor sales to Intel. SK hynix retained its third place.
IT advisory agency Gartner announced the results of a preliminary survey on global semiconductor sales for 2019 on Jan. 15. Global semiconductor sales fell 11.9 percent to $418.3 billion in 2019, according to Gartner.
The memory market, which accounted for 26.7 percent of semiconductor sales in 2019, saw sales fall 31.5 percent, while DRAM sales fell 37.5 percent from the end of 2018 to 2019 owing to continued oversupply, Gartner said.
Intel regained its No. 1 position as a global semiconductor supplier that it had given to Samsung Electronics for the past two years in sales in 2019, but sales fell slightly. "In 2010, Intel’s semiconductor sales fell 0.7 percent," Gartner said. "It seems to be due to a slump in the server market, continued CPU supply restrictions, and the sale of its cellular modem business to Apple in the fourth quarter."
Samsung Electronics suffered from oversupply and falling prices in the DRAM and NAND flash markets. Samsung Electronics' memory sales, which accounted for 82 percent of its sales, fell 34 percent in 2019.
In the memory sector, NAND flash memory was hit by sluggish demand in the first half of 2019, which led to a 23.1 percent drop in sales.
The NAND flash market began to stabilize in July 2019. "The power outage at the plant, jointly owned by KIOXIA and Western Digital, helped to clean up the inventory," Gartner said.
Gartner said, "NAND's recovery will continue in 2020 due to the low adoption rate of SSD and increased demand for 5G smartphones."