Excess inventory and increased capital spending on new factories may ultimately bite into the suppliers' earnings, Kim said. Companies including Samsung, Toshiba, Intel, and Micron are investing in new fabs this year, and if the U.S. economy recovers and consumer spending increases, the companies are willing to bite the bullet this year to see larger revenue growth in 2009 and 2010. NAND flash is a mature market with lots of upside in the long term, Kim said.
Samsung took 42.1 percent of the NAND flash market last year with $5.86 billion in revenue, a 4.4 percent year-over-year increase, according to data from iSuppli. Toshiba was second place with 27.2 percent and $3.88 billion in revenue, an increase of 20.3 percent year-over-year. Hynix was third with 8.8 percent growth and $2.38 billion in revenue. Micron and Intel, in fourth and fifth place respectively, showed very strong growth of 139.2 percent and 269.6 percent respectively.