Despite, or perhaps because of, rock-bottom prices, the memory market is booming, with both vendors and distributors reporting strong sales.
With prices at their lowest levels ever, it is just as well sales are strong. Volume has become a vital part in the PC memory equation. But manufacturers and distributors alike can breath a sigh of relief that the price difference between lower end OEM memory and brand manufacturers has narrowed and the playing field has become decidedly more even.
"The gap has lowered from around $20-25 to the $5-6 dollar range and business has really picked up because of this," said Ken Barsley, national sales and marketing manager with Kingmax which has just set up a new office in Queensland. "There is still a lot of demand out there for memory."
Kingston Technology distributor Simms International has also reported a strong period.
"We had one of our best months last month in memory," said managing director of Simms International, Andy Hilton. "We think it is a reflection of the fact that pricing has pretty much bottomed out and users are upgrading as much as they can before prices rise again. Apart from that, we had a few large deals which happened to drop in July."
Hilton agreed the closing gap between memory modules has been good for business, although he said Simms was not really affected by the price difference.
"Why buy cheap generic product when quality branded product is only marginally more expensive?" he argued.
Vendor Kingston Technology has just appointed another representative in Australia, Matt Cameron. Based in Sydney, Cameron will be responsible for growing the Kingston brand name amongst end users in Australia and New Zealand.
Dataram has also been undergoing staff changes. The US memory manufacturer recently announced it had cut about 96 jobs ahead of an anticipated first-quarter loss. While some in the Asia-Pacific region were also cut, Dataram has also made some new appointments. Former Fuji Xerox Australia sales executive David Fittler has just been appointed as sales manager for the Australia and New Zealand region.
The increased focus on the very different market of server memory has allowed Dataram, formerly Hypertec Memory Card, to move away from the rock-bottom prices of PC memory. However it still remains the bread and butter of the business.
"Our volumes are skyrocketing but pricing has dumped around 90 per cent in the last 12 months. But the numbers have stacked up unit-wise so we are holding it together and doing well."
Kingmax's Barsley agrees the price drop has gone hand-in-hand with the rise in demand.
"Everyone expects sales in August and September to be significant, but it will be very hard to get back to those high memory prices unless we have a couple of earthquakes that affect supply," he said.