Oversupply: The prices for NAND flash and SSDs are falling again

In the imminent third quarter of the year, NAND flash memory will become cheaper due to oversupply in the market TrendForce. Similarly, SSDs equipped with it should also become cheaper.

The fall in prices only faltered for a short time

The forecast at the beginning of the year with significantly falling SSD prices was initially followed in February by disillusionment from the customer’s point of view: An incident in the plants of Kioxia and Western Digital, which together account for around a third of global NAND production, destroyed several exabytes and caused problems for a production loss lasting several weeks. The forecasts were promptly changed from falling to rising prices, but at least the local end consumer market felt almost nothing of this.

Price prediction for the third quarter of 2022

The new prognosis of TrendForce now points clearly in the direction of falling prices for NAND flash and products based on it such as SSDs. The short-term disruption in production has long been over and factors such as rising inflation and the generally falling demand in the PC segment are causing oversupply and full inventories.

Market researchers are therefore currently assuming that prices (spot prices) for NAND flash will fall by up to 5 percent in the third quarter. According to the report, contract prices for the purchase of whole wafers with NAND chips are even expected to fall by 5 to 10 percent and had already fallen in May.

Forecast for flash prices in Q3 2022
Flash price forecast for Q3 2022 (Image: TrendForce)

While enterprise SSDs should remain price stable due to the sustained high demand from so-called hyperscalers, i.e. primarily large cloud data centers, prices for client SSDs are expected to fall by around 3 to 8 percent. In the mobile sector with Universal Flash Storage (UFS) and Embedded MultiMedia Card (eMMC) for products such as smartphones and tablets, prices are expected to fall in the same range of 3 to 8 percent. “Trends of sluggish smartphone shipments and cooling consumer market remain unchanged“, describes TrendForce the current situation in this sector.

SSD prices in online retail are already falling

A look at the price comparison already shows a slight downward trend in SSD prices in the entry-level class: More and more offers start at 7 cents per gigabyte.

WD Blue SN570 price history
WD Blue SN570 price history
Samsung 980 Pro price history
Samsung 980 Pro price history
WD Black SN850 price history
WD Black SN850 price history

The downward trend is clearer in the high-end segment with fast (and more expensive) PCIe 4.0 SSDs. However, the increasing competitive pressure has been ensuring this for months. The new spearhead are SSDs with a Phison E18 controller and Micron’s 176-layer TLC-NAND, such as the Corsair MP600 Pro XT (test), Kingston KC3000 or Seagate FireCuda 530 (test). The former top dogs Samsung 980 Pro (test) and WD Black SN850 (test) are no longer the fastest and have become significantly cheaper. For currently only 120 euros (1 TB model) or 12 cents per GB, both are price tips for enthusiasts who are not striving for the absolute maximum in performance.

A faster successor to the WD SN850, the SN850X, will soon appear.

If you are currently looking for an SSD, you will find helpful information in the SSD purchase advice from the editors and the purchase recommendations from the community.

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