The escalating prices of Flash NAND memory could be set to decline heading into Q2 2018. Prices of 3D Flash NAND have been steadily escalating since 2016, pushing up the cost of solid-state drives in the process. The primary reason for this is escalating demand from the smartphone markets, each phone manufacturer driving up the average NAND Flash memory per phone in an effort to compete. The knock-on effect has meant more expensive SSDs and M.2 drives.
However, memory market research analyst DRAMeXchange has identified a slight oversupply of the NAND Flash market throughout the first quarter of 2018. This oversupply is expected to remain throughout Q2 2018, causing the prices to decline.
This follows on from news in January that the price of NAND flash memory chips had fallen by 5% at the tail end of 2017, causing a bit of panic among investors that their lovely profit-making bubble was about to be burst. These prices will continue to tumble for at least the next three months according to TrendForce, although you may want to make the most of the reduced prices - overall demand is set to increase in the second half of 2018 due to it being the peak period for tech and hardware sales.
Supplies are expected to be tight in the second half of 2018, thanks to a combination of slowing production in response to the oversupply and the imminent arrival of the next-gen 9x-layer NAND Flash process. They’re hedging their bets a little, effectively, which could have unpredictable consequences for the cost of NAND Flash memory later in 2018 and heading into 2019.
For now, this would be a great time to start keeping an eye on SSD prices if you’ve been contemplating an upgrade. They’re not going to be cheap by any means, but they should at least soon be more affordable than they have been, and indeed than they will be.