The continued slowdown on the DRAM market, as well as shifting interest on the part of buyers, has caused the layout of the memory industry segment to shift considerably.
Up to the end of March, most of the memory sold during a yearly quarter (three-month period) ended up in personal computers.
The past few years have been characterized by a steady decrease of PC dominance though, to the point where, in the first quarter of 2012, DRAM shipments to PCs accounted for 50.2 percent of the total.
Now, PCs have finally dropped to under 50%. Sure, mobile handsets, tablets and other devices are three different categories, so PCs are still in the lead, but that doesn't make the occasion any less important.
After all, this is the first time ever when PCs' share of the DRAM market ended up below half.
“What the post-PC era does mean is that personal computers are not at the center of the technology universe anymore—and are seeing their hegemony over the electronics supply chain erode,” said Clifford Leimbach, memory analyst at IHS.
“PCs are no longer generating the kind of growth and overwhelming market size that can single-handedly drive demand, pricing and technology trends in some of the major technology businesses.”
Analyst firm iSuppli doesn't think that PCs will stop being used, or that the market doesn't have a chance to expand anymore.
It does, however, point out that the arrival of this new “era” has more or less been confirmed. After all, DRAM has been dominated and defined by PCs for 30 years, but this is no longer the case.
“The arrival of the post-PC era doesn’t mean that people will stop using personal computers, or even necessarily that the PC market will stop expanding,” said Leimbach.
“For DRAM suppliers, the focus in the future increasingly will be on serving the needs of fast-expanding new markets for smartphones and tablets, at the expense of catering to the PC business.”