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Oversupply Causes NAND flash and SSD prices to fall again

TrendForce market researchers expect NAND flash memory to become cheaper in the coming third quarter due to oversupply in the market. Likewise, SSDs equipped with it should also become cheaper.

The price dropped only for a short time

The early year forecast of significantly falling SSD prices was initially followed in February by customer disillusionment: an incident at the Kioxia and Western Digital factories, which together account for about a third of the global NAND production, destroyed a few exabytes and caused problems for a production outage lasting several weeks. Forecasts were promptly changed from falling to rising prices, but the local end-consumer market at least felt almost nothing.

Price forecast for the third quarter of 2022

TrendForce’s new forecast now points clearly in the direction of falling prices for NAND flash and products based on it such as SSDs. The short-lived disruption to manufacturing is long gone, and factors like rising inflation and generally declining demand in the PC segment are driving oversupply and stockpiling. Market researchers therefore currently assume that prices (spot prices) for NAND flash will fall by a maximum of 5 percent in the third quarter. In fact, contract prices for the purchase of whole wafers with NAND chips are expected to fall by 5 to 10 percent and had already fallen in May, according to the report.

Flash prices forecast for Q3 2022 (Image: TrendForce) While enterprise SSDs should remain price stable due to continued high demand from so-called hyperscalers, i.e. mainly large cloud data centers, client SSDs will drop in prices by about 3 to 8 percent expected. 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. “The trends of slow smartphone shipments and the cooling of the consumer market remain unchanged,” TrendForce describes the current situation in this sector.

SSD prices are already falling in online retail

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

WD Blue SN570 price history Samsung 980 Pro price history WD Black SN850 price development The downward trend in the high-end sector with fast (and more expensive) PCIe 4.0 SSDs is more apparent. However, the increasing competitive pressure has been causing this for months. The new spearhead is 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 toppers Samsung 980 Pro (test) and WD Black SN850 (test) have no longer become the fastest and significantly cheaper. Currently, only 120 euros (1 TB model) or 12 cents per GB are both price tips for enthusiasts who do not aim for the absolute maximum of performance. A faster successor to the WD SN850, the SN850X, will soon be released. If you’re currently looking for an SSD, you’ll find helpful information in the editors’ SSD Buying Advice and Community Buying Recommendations.