India consumer storage flash memory unit shipments witness 17% YoY decline and 1% QoQ decline in 4Q 2013

Total shipments touch 16.6 million units, 8 GB emerges favourite SKU

SanDisk retains top spot, followed by Transcend and Kingston

New Delhi / Gurgaon: The India Consumer Storage Flash Memory market comprising Micro SD cards, SD cards and Flash drives registered a 1% sequential decline in 4Q 2013, whereas the decline on annual basis was to the tune of 17%. Shipments of around 16.6 million units were recorded during 4Q 2013. This was revealed in CMR’s India Quarterly Consumer Storage Flash Memory Market Review 4Q 2013, April 2014 release.

Table 1. India Consumer Storage Flash Memory Market shipments, category shares and growth rates:
4Q (Oct-Dec) 2013 vs. 3Q (July-Sep) 2013 vs.  4Q (Oct-Dec) 2012

Table 1 India Consumer Storage Flash Memory Market 4Q2013

In the overall consumer storage flash memory market, SanDisk continued to be the market leader with 35% share by unit shipments in 4Q 2013. Transcend maintained its position at the second spot with an 11% market share where as Kingston jumped to third spot with a 6% market share by unit shipments. SanDisk was the top vendor across all the three categories (Micro SD cards, SD cards and Flash drives).

The market which had deviated from its long term trend of movement towards higher capacity consumer storage SKUs in the previous few quarters due to upward price revision, again returned to its normal cycle.  The 8GB capacity SKU emerged front runner with a 38% market share by unit shipments during 4Q 2013, witnessing a 50% year-on-year growth.

“Price stability in the last two quarters assisted market movement towards higher capacity consumer storage SKUs. Growth of smartphone and tablet shipments is the leading contributor to this spurt in demand. Use of these devices for entertainment, growth in user-generated content from these devices, especially pictures and cheaper 3G data connectivity has created a demand for higher capacity Micro SD cards”, stated Narinder Kumar, Analyst, InfoTech and Channels Practices, CyberMedia Research.

“Mobile device OS and preinstalled apps take up a significant amount of inbuilt storage. Processing capacity of these devices is increasing with time along with increase in the installed base of apps. Further, the size of apps, especially size of games is increasing day by day, which makes primary memory space insufficient”, Narinder added.

The October-December 2013 quarter registered an impressive 36% sequential growth in shipments of unbranded Micro SD cards due to price stability and competitive price points at which these are available.

The SD cards market was adversely hit by declining shipments of digital cameras. This category declined sequentially by 21% in terms of unit shipments in 4Q 2013.

“Declining profitability forced a number of vendors to opt out of entry level point and shoot cameras, thus severely affecting the SD cards market starting 2013. This market is likely to remain on the same course in the forthcoming quarters. However, growth in shipments of DSLR cameras with decreasing price points and the resultant higher installed base is likely provide impetus to the SD cards market in the long run. Mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras or MILCs, which are comparatively cheaper than DSLR cameras currently occupy a niche market, which can further help in the growth of SD card shipments”, Narinder said.

After a fast-paced growth in 3Q 2013, the Flash drives market declined by 14% in 4Q 2013 in terms of unit shipments. More than half the shipments during 4Q 2013 were for the 8GB storage capacity SKU.

“A number of leading vendors are launching OTG Flash drives, which have two ports – one USB port and one micro USB port. Apart from computing devices like desktops and laptops, OTG drives are connected directly to devices like smartphones and tablets through the micro USB port. The growth of OTG Flash drives will largely depend on the ease of use with installed operating systems, as well as their compatibility with upcoming new operating systems for mobiles and tablets”, Narinder concluded.


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