Analyst firm Trendforce predicted that the average selling price of NAND Flash, the building block of all SSD (SSDs) and microSD cards will fall by up to 15% in the current quarter. It is already down by nearly 25% over the last quarter, prompting the largest manufacturers; Kioxia, Solidigm, Micron and WDC will reduce their production in order to reduce supply on the market.
Low consumer demand and Enterprise SSD combined with Samsung’s reluctance to continue producing as much NAND as possible means that the price drop we’ve seen over the past 12 months on SSD and microSD products will likely continue unabated, with smaller capacities being phased out .
Samsung is the largest supplier of NAND Flash and has already committed to investing heavily in R&D to stay ahead of its rivals. SK Hynix and Micron announced in 2022 that they would launch 238 layers And 232 diapers respective products which – on paper – will significantly reduce the cost per terabyte for SSDs.
For obvious reasons, no provider has yet released APIs (penta-level cell) NAND, the next technology breakthrough that will enable even cheaper high-capacity SSDs.
Data bloodbath by Christmas 2023?
The cheapest 1TB microSD cards currently sell for around $75 on Amazon, down almost 50% in price from a year ago. While we don’t expect prices to halve, another 30% drop by the end of the year seems reasonable, which would bring the price of a 1TB microSD card closer to $50. .
This would have a ripple effect on the smaller capacities (512GB, 256GB, 128GB) and we expect the 64GB and 32GB microSD to be phased out of the market altogether.
It’s the same for USB flash drives where the cheapest genuine 256GB models currently sell for around $10, with vendors resorting to multi-pack offers in order to attract customers with lower capacities. The fact that many recent laptops lack a Type-A connector or a microSD card slot also significantly reduces the size of the total addressable market.
The most exciting market remains the SSD market where customers are having a blast as prices continue to drop. The cheapest SSD per TB at the time of writing is the Leven JS600 ($74.99 for 1.92TB), another ~30% drop over the next nine months will bring it to parity with smaller capacity hard drives like the Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM008.
These inexpensive models are 2.5 inches SATA storage devices and because they are Actually equipped with a SATA connector, they should also quickly supplant external hard drives with a capacity of up to 2TB. disappearance and they are replaced by M.2 PCIe drives.
Larger capacity hard drives are safe for now, but it’s only a matter of time before the next level (3TB, 4TB) is on the way out. A 4TB SSD from Leven sells for $180, about twice the price of a 4TB WD Passport hard drive for example.