>> Thanks to robust hunger for smart phones and cloud services, the $122 billion memory chip industry, has had an incredible 1.5 years. But after prices for memory chips saw a sudden drop, the surge could come grinding to a halt. That add disappointing profit estimate from Samsung, the world's largest chipmaker has got investors jittery, as Reuters' Miyoung Kim in Singapore explains many of them were betting on the chip boom to last at least into 2019.
>> The memory chip market expanded to 70% last year and most analysts expect the market will lose some steam this year. Because last year's explosive growth rate gave the chipmakers a lot of cash to invest, and boost the output. So the market is not likely to grow another 70% this year for sure.
>> The repercussions may well be visible soon in shop windows. About a third of global memory chip demand comes from smartphone makers. Many of them have been pressing suppliers to lower their prices.>> More and more consumers now want their smartphones to have more powerful R chips and bigger data storage capacities.
And in response to that, smart phone have been boosting production of premium phones with a higher memory content. So, consumers are likely to see more of such a high-end expensive phones coming to the market going forward.>> Memory chip prices dropped nearly 5% in the fourth quarter, sparking shares in Samsung and it's rival SK Hynix to dip last week.
Some are even expecting the growth rate to fall by more than half this year, but, experts say, that doesn't necessarily spell a crash. This is an industry known for ups and downs, and analysts say chipmakers can expect an even keel for at least the year ahead.