Profitable DRAM Players Now Extinct

logoUpdated: Samsung today reported a fourth-quarter loss of 937 billion won ($682 million), due, in part, by its squeezed DRAM operations. This is unfortunate because up until this point, Samsung had the honor of being the last profitable maker of DRAM chips. Too much supply and a softening demand for PCs have sent prices for a Gigabyte of memory plummeting 48 percent in the last quarter.

Handsets sales were the only spot of growth —  up by 14 percent over the previous quarter and 28 percent year over year. Samsung even eked out a sliver of profit on phones this quarter — something it failed to do in all other reporting segments. But Samsung, (like Nokia (s NOK), said) it expects the handset market to contract by up to 10 percent in 2009.

Update: Also today, Germany’s Qimonda has reacted to the troubled DRAM market by filing for bankruptcy.