Mobile memory revenue could jump nearly 50 percent this year

Growing smartphone shipments are fueling a dramatic rise in revenue, projected to be more than $10 billion worldwide

Worldwide mobile memory revenue is expected to grow by close to 50 percent this year on increased smartphone shipments, research firm iSuppli said on Friday.

The revenue from mobile memory NAND flash, NOR flash and mobile DRAM, used in devices such as wireless handsets and smartphones, is expected to rise to $10.2 billion this year, up from $6.8 billion in 2009.

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Smartphone shipments are growing fast, and the devices include denser memory to store and process data, iSuppli said in a statement. That has helped boost revenue in the sector.

The Consumer Electronics Association on Thursday projected U.S. smartphone shipments to reach 54 million units this year, an increase of nearly 31 percent from the previous year.

Micron Technology will be a beneficiary of the boost as it tries to gather pieces to effectively compete against rivals and top memory makers Samsung and Toshiba. Micron, which is known for its NAND and DRAM flash, in May closed the $1.2 billion acquisition of Numonyx, which is the world's leading NOR flash supplier, according to iSuppli. The Numonyx acquisition has given Micron the necessary pieces to become a top memory company, iSuppli said.

Samsung is the third-largest supplier of NOR flash, after Spansion and Micron. Combined, the three companies commanded 70.5 percent of global NOR flash revenue during the first quarter this year.

Micron was the third top supplier in the NAND flash market, trailing Samsung, which held the top spot, and Toshiba, which was in the second spot.

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