Mobile market share

In the second quarter of 2012, new personal computers consumed less than half of the global market for DRAM, the memory chips that help computerized devices run. It’s the first time since PCs were a young product in the 1980s that their share has been less than half the market.

PCs accounted for 49 percent of DRAM shipments in the second quarter of 2012, according to data from IHS iSuppli. That number was down from 50.2 percent in the first quarter. The average share for 2008 through 2011 was about 55 percent.

Although IHS gives credit to smartphones and tablets for the decline of PCs as the major DRAM consumer, together smartphones and tablets accounted for less than 20 percent of the market. Smartphones took 13.2 percent of the market in the second quarter of 2012,while tablets took 2.7 percent.

The rest of the market consists of “other” devices; the press release from IHS did not go into further detail. Many consumer and business devices contain DRAM, ranging from portable media players and digital cameras to office printers and appliances.

IHS expects smartphones’ and tablets’ share of the DRAM market to continue to expand rapidly. By the fourth quarter of 2013, tablets will take up 6.9 percent of the market and smartphones will take up 19.8 percent of the market. Meanwhile, PCs will decline to 42.8 percent.

DRAM Market Share Forecast

As the percentages shift, PCs will still consume a rising amount of DRAM and remain the largest single category in DRAM usage. However, the share consumed by smartphones, tablets, and other devices will rise more quickly.

“The arrival of the post-PC era doesn’t mean that people will stop using personal computers, or even necessarily that the PC market will stop expanding,” said Clifford Leimbach, memory analyst at IHS, in the press release. “What the post-PC era does mean is that personal computers are not at the center of the technology universe anymore.”

Tags: computer memory, dram, pc market share, portable media players, ram, smartphone market share, tablet market share, tablet vs pc, tablets decline of PCs