Friday, December 2nd 2016

SSD Pricing to Surge on the Back of NAND Shortages - Stock Your SSD Needs

Business. Business never changes. Whether you're for Keynes or Hayek, some truths just can't be escaped: and the one based on the market tending to equilibrium between the forces of supply and demand is oft times almost akin to a law of physics - other times, not so much. This time, it appears as if the market forces are steering NAND prices through the roof. The causes? Varied, though you probably carry one of them in your pocket most of the time. We earlier reported surging prices in the DRAM market, spurred by the Note 7 fiasco and increased production of that smartphone's competitors (and Samsung's own products) to fill the gaping hole left by its forcible market removal. But not only by DRAM are smartphones powered - they also make use of NAND flash.
That is one of the causes for the recent surge in NAND pricing - smartphone inventory demands of flash-based memory have driven the manufacturer's stocks to the red line. To this, one should add the success of the SSD market as being one of NAND's pricing own worst enemies - increasing demand for SSDs, which in Q2 2016 achieved 33.705 million units (nearly 10 million units and 41.2% year-over-year higher and up 9.5% from Q1, means that demand is ever increasing - and manufacturing capabilities, on the other hand, are not. And with recent woes in rolling out of 3D NAND, on which companies like Toshiba and Western Digital (SanDisk owner) where banking to increase their manufacturing capabilities, only serve to exacerbate the problems. Until these companies sort out their BiCS 3D NAND production, NAND shortage might drag out until mid-to-late next year.

As a result, DRAMeXchange reported that the average price of MLC SSDs rose this quarter between 6%-10%, while TLC SSDs also rose 6%-9%. higher prices are great for NAND vendors, who are raking in record revenues (DRAMeXchange reports a 19.6% increase), who are banking on lower supply to increase pricing (thus stifling demand, which eventually downgrades so much that production - and therefore supply - is again higher than demand, which in turn drives the prices back down, which leads to greater demand from tech-savvy customers who don't want to bank on ye old HDDs... And on and on). Eventually, with new 3D NAND fabs kicking into full production, pricing is (probably) coming down again - but many analysts are predicting SSD prices to increase 20-25% over the next few months, and it will likely be 2018 before prices are driven back down, if it even happens (since price-fixing after surges is, unfortunately, a thing).

Bottom-line: if you're planning on buying an SSD, the time is now.
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27 Comments on SSD Pricing to Surge on the Back of NAND Shortages - Stock Your SSD Needs

#1
Dj-ElectriC
snagged a 90 euro 525GB MX300 in black friday just before this happens.
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#2
Solidstate89
Thankfully I'm not in the need for any SSDs until I do a full rebuild of either my desktop or my HTPC - and that's a couple years off for each of them.
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#3
RejZoR
And when you're selling SSD's for "too cheap", you artificially create a shortage to inflate prices. I mean, isn't it odd how this happened just when prices sort of started becoming bearable compared to dirty cheap HDD's.

Then again, all my systems are 100% SSD powered, so I don't really care anymore at this point...
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#4
LucidStrike
I was banking on the opposite happening in the next several months so I could get a sub $200 1TB SSD. Just bought a 750GB for $170 because of this article. Oh well. I'll upgrade in 2018 or 2019.
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#5
nemesis.ie
I suspect it's more likely cartel-like shenanigans. The same thing happened when the hard drive factories closed temporarily a couple of years ago and the prices have not dropped again since.

A decision by a group of makers to "Put the prices up for the holiday season" would not surprise me.

A PITA as I need a couple for family members, they were out of stock at the reasonable prices (for 250GB) a few weeks ago and now they are back in stock at much higher (>10% more) prices. :(
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#8
Finners
Wow this never happens to me, brought 2 525gb Ssd's and a small 120gb one for good prices over black Friday as spares

Might actually have brought some tech at a low point instead of high as it always feels like that's what I do.
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#9
Diverge
Sounds like price fixing to me. Didn't a bunch of companies get slapped with penalties years ago for ram price fixing?
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#10
Jetster
Its probably not going to rise much then there will be surplus
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#11
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
Damn, should of nabbed that black friday $130 for 750gb deal
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#12
Raevenlord
News Editor
LucidStrike said:
I was banking on the opposite happening in the next several months so I could get a sub $200 1TB SSD. Just bought a 750GB for $170 because of this article. Oh well. I'll upgrade in 2018 or 2019.
Don't worry, I bought a 525 GB MX300 just because of this article as well xD so if you're burned, at least the OP is burned as well, and we can all share in our wallet's misery.
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#14
Courtney Bennet
Man I'm glad I have 1 256GB 850 EVO.. & 2 850 PRO's at 500GB. the PROS I was able to get fo Free! theyre just sitting there... waiting to be plugged in ^.^ THIS is the MAJOR up-side to fixing computers on the side. people give you stuff they don't need anymore. Sometimes... they have no idea just how awesome that stuff really is.
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#15
n-ster
Hmmm, SSDs are becoming popular, I bet if we up the price by creating a shortage, people will still buy enough of them.

Sounds like good business, worked with HDDs and DDR3 at some point, now onto the new generation, DDR4 and SSDs. Their excuse? Oh it's smartphone's fault!!!! Do you want us to stop making your precious smartphones? no? okay than eat the price hike and shut up. I guess they couldn't use floods as an excuse this time.
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#16
m1dg3t
SSD prices are going to surge because the plebes are willingly going to pay.
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#18
TheGuruStud
Memory manuf already admitted to cutting production months ago to inflate prices. They've been convicted before in price fixing, so they want to make it look legal.

The reality is that they're refusing to compete. I would wager this is illegal under some EU law.
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#19
Filip Georgievski
As if in my "great" country, prices werent high enought, now they will be higher.
So much for me grabing another SSD for games.

Ow well, my 1TB WD Blue is more than capable of runing games now, i wont change it in near future.

Ill probably grab new MB/CPU/RAM combo to upgrade my rig in near future, and probably get a new flash for my D5100 Nikon.
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#20
Steevo
Nand producers need to sell more to a saturating market..... create false shortage..... make news about future shortage.... sit back and count their money.


I say saturating, due to the low prices of devices using it, and the reason for that was an oversupply of everything from memory to the manufacturers as well, it makes it a buyers market with low profitability for suppliers.
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#22
silkstone
I'm glad I snagged a 750gb MX300 for $99 recently. It was only 3 years ago that I paid more for a 120gb drive!
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#23
ManofGod
I recently purchased 2 x 960GB Sandisk Ultra II's at $182.99 each before taxes. I then transferred my Adata 480GB into my work machine as a secondary driver. (The primary one there is a Sandisk 480GB.) Wondering if this means that the DDR4 pricing will go up as well?
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#24
Zubasa
ManofGod said:
I recently purchased 2 x 960GB Sandisk Ultra II's at $182.99 each before taxes. I then transferred my Adata 480GB into my work machine as a secondary driver. (The primary one there is a Sandisk 480GB.) Wondering if this means that the DDR4 pricing will go up as well?
DDR4 pricing has already went up, at least in Hong Kong.
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#25
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
Oh great, this is all we need. Price rises on top of brexit price rises. I can just see SSDs going up 40% in England. :rolleyes:
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