NPD Group: The 10 Best-Selling Memory Modules Of 3Q

Memory Leaders

Despite a 10 percent uptick in DRAM prices in 2013, according toForbes, and a 23 percent rise from last year, the world's appetite for server and desktop memory continues apace as operating systems and applications become more virtual, more powerful and more sophisticated.

What might surprise analysts is not the memory-hungry data centers, but the names of the top companies supplying the memory. Here's a list of the top 10 DRAM suppliers of the third quarter for 2014, according to U.S. technology distributors, as reported by the NPD Group.

10. Axiom

Quadrupling its market share since this time last year was tenth-place finisher Axiom. In the third quarter of 2013, the Irvine, Calif.-based memory-maker captured just 0.1 percent of the market. But this year, its share jumped to 0.4 percent. The company manufactures and markets DIMMs, flash, SSDs, laptop batteries and small networking gear to OEMs, distributors and directly to IT resellers.

9. Lenovo

With a market share that was essentially flat year-on-year, Lenovo managed to grab just 0.86 percent of the market this year, compared with 0.84 percent last year. That was good enough only for ninth place. The Chinese company offers SODIMMS, RDIMMS and UDIMMS varying from 2 GB to 32 GB.

8. Crucial Technology

Breaking a full percentage point was seventh-place Crucial Technology, which earned 3.1 percent of the PC3 memory market in the quarter. Also good news for Crucial, which caters to pros and enthusiasts with its DRAM and SSD products, is that it increased its market share a full percentage point from last year, a hike of nearly 50 percent.

7. Kingston Technology

If Kingston Technology's 2013 sales figures held, we'd be putting a four next to its name instead of a seven. Unfortunately, the company's share dropped to 3.4 percent from 7.7 percent, putting it in seventh place in sales for the segment. The good news is the diversity of Kingston products, which include memory, SSDs, USB flash drives and flash cards at various price points.

6. Samsung

Samsung more than doubled its market share this year by capturing 5.48 percent of sales compared with 2.5 percent a year ago. Along with SSDs, eMMCs, mobile DRAM and other memory varieties, the company divides its DRAM products into computing, consumer and graphic specialty areas. Samsung got onto the list, in large part, with its 16-GB PC3-12800 DDR3 SDRAM DIMM, which was the eighth best-selling component of the quarter.

5. Micron Technology

One one-hundredth of a percentage point was enough to place Micron Technology in fifth place with 5.49 percent of the market. The company, which didn't make NPD's list last year, made headlines this year for technology it introduced in its SSD drives that it said can switch between SLC and MLC write modes, gaining the speed and durability of SLC flash while incorporating the far less costly MLC NAND in the actual drive. Micron's enormous variety of memory products includes DDR4, mobile LPDRAM, embedded USB, GDDR5 and many others. Its 16-GB DDR3 RDIMM was the quarter's seventh-best seller.

4. Oracle

Solidly in fourth place is Oracle with 6.2 percent of the market. That's the good news. The bad news is that the company's memory sales last year were good enough for 8.9 percent of the market, a drop of 2.7 percentage points year-on-year. What's worse, Oracle's 6.2 percent is less than half that of its third-place rival. Still, Oracle's 16-GB DDR3 SDRAM module was the ninth-best-selling memory product of the quarter.

3. IBM

With a 12.5 percent share of the market, IBM lands itself in third place and puts archrival Oracle further back in its rearview mirror. However, Big Blue lost approximately 3.4 percent of its share from the year-ago period, when it enjoyed a 16 percent hold on memory sales. The company offers DDR4 and DDR3 memory varieties, as well as DIMMs for System x and BladeCenter systems.

2. Cisco Systems

Three of the quarter's best-selling memory models were Cisco products, putting the networker solidly in second place for the period with nearly a fifth of the market. Its 19.9 percent share was an improvement of 5.4 points from last year's numbers, when it grabbed 14.5 percent of sales. The second- and fifth-most popular DIMMs this year were varieties of Cisco's 16-GB SDRAM module, and its 32-GB model was the year's fourth-best seller.

1. Hewlett-Packard

More than two-fifths of memory for servers and desktop computers purchased between July and September of this year carried the name Hewlett-Packard. Although its share dropped by nearly four points from a year ago, the company still captured 40.7 percent of the market, with two of the top three best-selling models and three of the top 10. The best-selling DIMM of the year was an HP 16-GB DDR3 SDRAM module. Interestingly, the average selling price of DIMMs this year was $168.32, which, according to NPD, represented a 23.8 percent increase from last year's average of $135.99.