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Samsung, SK hynix slip in chip sales in H1

‘Complete switch has occurred with collapse of DRAM and NAND flash markets’

South Korea’s two biggest memory chip makers Samsung Electronics and SK hynix slipped to second and fourth place, respectively, in a global ranking of chip sales due to price falls, a report showed Wednesday.

The 2019 McClean Report released by market researcher IC Insights showed that the world’s leading semiconductor businesses reported over 30 percent declines in their sales for the first half of 2019.

The combined sales of the top 15 chipmakers stood at $148.7 billion as of June, down 18 percent from the same period of last year.

In particular, Samsung, SK hynix and Micron -- the three largest memory providers -- witnessed sharp falls in their first-half sales, the report noted. 

Employees walk in a semiconductor clean room at Samsung Electronics. (Samsung Electronics)
Employees walk in a semiconductor clean room at Samsung Electronics. (Samsung Electronics)

Samsung tumbled 33 percent in sales during the period, while SK hynix plummeted 35 percent. US-headquartered Micron plunged 34 percent.

As a result, Intel replaced Samsung as the No.1 silicon provider in the first half of 2019 after losing the top spot to Samsung in the second quarter of 2017.

“While Samsung held the full-year number one ranking in 2017 and 2018, Intel is forecast to easily recapture the number one ranking for the full year of 2019, a position it previously held from 1993 through 2016,” the report said.

Intel’s first-half sales edged down 2 percent, the report showed.

It is a “complete switch” according to the IC Insights report due to the collapse of the DRAM and NAND flash markets.

In the first half of 2018, Samsung’s sales were 22 percent larger than Intel, but Intel had 20 percent more sales than Samsung during the same period this year.

Taiwan’s TSMC registered a 9 percent decrease in its sales, and replaced SK hynix on third place. SK hynix slipped to fourth.

IDM Sony jumped five notches and became the 14th largest semiconductor supplier in the first half of 2019, the report noted. Sony primarily supplied image sensor components for smartphones, and it was the only company that reported a year-on-year growth in sales.

However, considering that the top 15 chipmakers’ sales slightly increased in the second quarter compared to the first quarter, the report offered a positive forecast on the recovery of the semiconductor market in the second half of the year.

“Overall, revenue growth expectations for the third quarter vary widely by company and span a range from a 21 percent increase to a 2 percent fall,” the report said.

By Song Su-hyun (