Research figures from iSuppli indicate global DRAM revenue dropped 19% from $7.97 billion in the third quarter to $6.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007. Sales went down 40% compared to the fourth quarter of 2006 and it's estimated the DRAM industry had an operating loss of almost $3 billion.
iSuppli concludes that conditions in the DRAM market last quarter were "far worse than predicted," and it puts the blame on the decline in average selling prices. Indeed, compared to the third quarter, average DRAM memory prices in the fourth quarter were down 31%. ASPs do seem to be on the rise again this quarter, though, with prices for 512Mb and 1Gb DDR2 chips having recently climbed back over $1 and $2, respectively.
In terms of revenue share, iSuppli ranks Samsung as number one, with its Korean counterpart Hynix second, Japanese memory maker Elpida third, Germany's Qimonda fourth, and U.S.-based Micron in fifth place. Elpida managed to do best last quarter with the smallest revenue drop (10.8%), while Samsung saw a 12.3% drop, Micron's revenue dipped 12.6%, Qimonda's went down 23.6%, and Hynix saw the biggest decrease by far—a whopping 33.2%.