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Smartphones boom make mobiles biggest user of flash memory

Solid State Drives and Flash memory cards trail behind

The boom in smartphone sales will make cellphones the biggest user of flash memory this year, according to a market brief from analyst IHS.

Cellphones will jump to the flash lead spot with a 24.6 percent share of global bit shipments, up from second place in 2012 with 23.3 percent, said IHS.

"With smartphones accounting for an ever- increasing portion of the global cellphone business, the mobile handset market is demanding more and more flash memory," said IHS analyst Ryan Chien. "This is causing the cellphone business to eclipse all other application markets for flash usage."

The total flash memory market is expected to rise to $22 billion this year, up from $20 billion last year. Revenue in 2012 had contracted after industry takings of $21 billion in 2011.

Last year's market leader, flash storage cards, will tumble to third place with a 19.7 percent share of flash consumption in 2013. Sitting between handsets and flash storage cards will be solid state drives (SSD), ranked the number two flash platform consumer this year with 20.6 percent, up two spots from 2012.

Other platforms in 2013 with prominent market share in flash consumption include number four ranked USB flash drives, tablet PCs in fifth place, and MP3 players in sixth.

Together, the top six devices will account for a 93.2 percent market share of projected flash memory usage this year.

The remaining share will be split among ten products, including personal navigation devices, video camcorders, handheld game players and digital set-top boxes.


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