SSDs are about to get a lot cheaper as NAND prices plummet
A familiar story of oversupplyBy Rob Thubron 34 comments
In a nutshell: We all know that graphics card prices are the lowest they've been in years, but they might not be the only PC hardware to see substantial price drops. A report claims solid-state drive prices could be about to fall as NAND flash pricing plummets by up to 35%.
Analyst firm TrendForce writes that its latest investigation shows the NAND flash market failed to experience its usual peak-season surge in demand. The lack of demand has led to an excess of factory inventory that's reached "breaking point," and manufacturers are bottoming out pricing in order to make a deal.
TrendForce has now revised its NAND flash wafer contract prices from the original decline of 15-20% to a drop of 30-35% for the third quarter. That should be good news for those looking to add some new storage to their PCs, as consumer SSDs are expected to become cheaper as a result.
Like many other industries, the NAND flash market is feeling a post-lockdown hangover. Manufacturers couldn't meet consumers' enormous demand for electronic goods during the height of the pandemic, so they started an aggressive period of expansion while increasing the output of 128+ layer technologies.
But demand for laptops, smartphones, PC, and other products fell off a cliff in recent times as consumers became wary of making non-essential purchases due to the shaky economy, high energy prices, and rising inflation, leading to a glut of excess stock.
TrendForce writes that, looking forward to the fourth quarter, manufacturers are preparing to maintain their market share at all costs, making the oversupply situation even worse. It believes that as a result, Q4 2022 NAND flash wafer pricing could decline by another 20%.
Precisely when the market will correct itself is anyone's guess. TrendForce believes consumer purchasing attitudes will remain conservative in 2023, which could hamper the industry's recovery.
The bottom line is that if you're eying up a new SATA or NVMe SSD, it's probably a good idea to wait a while---until the fourth quarter, if possible, when prices should hit their lowest point---before buying.