SSD price drop shows no end in sight

Shortly: Solid state drive prices have been falling for months due to NAND oversupply. The trend is looking particularly strong towards the end of 2022 and the latest reports suggest it will not abate. This holiday season might be an excellent time to upgrade if you’re looking for a PCIe 4.0 SSD.

A new report from analysts at TrendForce suggests that NAND flash prices will fall 15 to 20 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022, likely dragging SSD prices down. Prices could bottom towards the end of this year, but the picture for 2023 is unclear.

Solid-state storage is just one computing component that’s under price pressure in this year’s post-pandemic economy. Manufacturers struggled to keep up with increased demand in 2020 and 2021, and those efforts resulted in oversupply in 2022. For graphics cards, PCs and other devices, demand has fallen recently due to economic uncertainty, causing the prompted vendors to drop prices to clear inventory.

Despite the weak market, companies like SK Hynix and Kioxia are bringing new products to the sector and increasing price competition. Pricing pressures from increased shipments amid falling demand are already hitting 176-layer NAND and PCIe 4.0 SSDs, particularly 512GB drives. A similar trend is emerging for enterprise SSDs.

Other devices such as TVs, Chromebooks and smartphones have also seen their sales decline recently, putting pressure on the eMMC and UFS markets. Analysts are forecasting a price decline of 13 to 18 percent for both types of memory in the fourth quarter.

Demand for most memory types is so exhausted that 3D NAND prices plummeted 30 to 35 percent in Q3. Forecasts for the fourth quarter are also on the bleak side, with analysts predicting another 20 to 25 percent drop. This trend threatens to push most NAND manufacturers into the red as they start selling wafers at a loss.

The analysis only extends to the end of 2022, but it’s not clear if prices will start to recover in early 2023. Fears of a recession early next year are turning market forecasts pessimistic.

Graphics card and SSD prices have been falling for a while, and new generations of CPUs and GPUs are coming this fall from all the major vendors. However, it may be wise to keep an eye on how the GPU price war between Nvidia’s new Ada Lovelace range and AMD’s forthcoming RDNA3 develops over the next few months. If you’re looking to upgrade or build a PC soon, late 2022 could be a good time to buy if prices don’t drop any further after that. SSD price drop shows no end in sight

Chris Barrese

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