While the computer industry has been somewhat immune, the recent global economic downturn has started to hit home with memory manufacturers. The downward trend came to a head this week when the largest US memory manufacturer, Micron Technology, posted a yearly loss of over a billion and a half dollars. Their stock has tumbled from almost eleven dollars a share one year ago to just under four and a half, now. For Hynix and Qimonda, other major memory companies, things have gotten bad enough to warrant looking for buyers; Hynix is hoping to sell off 36% of the company, while Qimonda’s manufacturing capabilities (owned by Infineon) will likely be bought whole.
Stock values aren’t the only thing dropping, however; prices on memory have also been sinking further and further. The glut in the market of flash memory has driven down prices as demand wasn’t there.
Credit: Micron Technology
Fortunately for consumers, this means that memory prices are becoming ever more affordable, increasing the affordability of new technologies like solid state disks. Given that SSDs are more the realm of integrated circuit manufacturers like Micron and Intel rather than traditional hard disk providers, it might just be a way for these companies to get out of the slump.
Yahoo! Finance charts for Micron Technology