The Time to Buy an SSD is Now: Shortage Points to Price Increase

By Published December 12, 2016 at 8:00 am

SSDs are ostensibly a victim of their own success. Competitive pricing has made SSDs more accessible at the consumer level in addition to a proliferated demand in other market segments, such as the obvious smartphones and laptops. Both of these segments have seen the implementation of NAND flash-based storage for increasing capacity while minimizing the form and footprint of devices, not to mention power savings and noise reductions.

Tom’s Hardware has been covering the issue of increasing SSD prices since the onset, and you can read their in-depth analysis here. With demand spiking in multiple markets, coupled with the slow and plagued transition to 3D NAND (which has slowed production on 2D/Planar NAND), we find ourselves amid a Flash shortage. Consequently, the end of record-low SSD prices is nigh, with prices expected to inflate by as much as 25% heading into 2017. What’s worse, the devastated undersupply isn’t expected to see reprieve until late 2017 or early 2018. Most major vendors are expediting their plans to bring 3D NAND to market, which should help stabilize overall supply and dilute prices to an extent, but again, that is not expected until late 2017 or 2018.

More unexpectedly, the HDD market could see a similar price hike. Declining sales, shrinking profits in the consumer market, and closing doors on production facilities will the see the supply of HDD components tightened. Additionally, HDD and component vendors are shifting focus towards the high capacity storage needs for the enterprise segment, further sequestering the consumer from an already short supply.

SSD prices are expected to sharply rise while HDD prices may see a similar ascent. If you’ve been on the fence about an SSD purchase, whether that’s an upgrade for an existing system or a core component for a new rig, the time is now. You can review our most recent buyer’s guide, The Best SSDs For Gaming, for assistance in purchases. The guide was put together for Black Friday/Cyber Monday, and while those sales have expired, the collection of SSDs on the list are all solid purchases.

Editorial: Eric Hamilton

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