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Declining PC Sales Not Derailing SSD Market in 2012

By - Source: IHS | B 22 comments
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With the PC market taking a downward turn in 2012, the SSD market still finds itself on an upward trend

As we reported earlier, IHS iSuppli forecast the PC market to have a 1.2 percent decline in 2012, which will be the first decline in 11 years. With the diversified of SSDs, its growth outlook has only decreased slightly, even with the ultrabook shipments being behind expectations and the sobering outlooks provided by Intel and AMD. 

SSD shipments in the first half of this year amounted to 12.9 million units, according to IHS iSuppli. Shipments reached 10.5 million in the third quarter and will rise to 17.5 million units in the fourth quarter, for a total of 28.0 million units in the second half. This is down from the previous forecast of 13.0 million in the third quarter and 20.0 million in the fourth. Even though the units shipped didn't meet expectations, it is still double the total number shipped during the first half of the year. 

The shipment date provided by IHS cover pure standalone SSDs as well as drives that are used with HDDs as separate cache entities. The numbers cover all applications for SSDs, including but not limited to the enterprise segment, ultrabooks and consumer units.

The long-term outlook of SSDs still holds a positive position due to improvements like NAND die shrinks, increasing utilization of TLC flash, and more efficient controllers that are accelerating the cost curve. Information collected by ISH showed the second quarter of the year closed with 7.1 million SSDs being shipped for $1.5 billion in revenue. In addition, IHS predicts that by the second half of this decade, SSDs with be the standard storage in non-budget notebook and desktop PCs, thanks to a mixture of lower prices, consumer education and an optimized software ecosystem.

IHS projects the SSD industry will finish 2012 with $7.5 billion in revenue and 41.0 million in shipments, with compound annual growth rates of 35 percent in revenue and 69 percent in shipments.


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Top Comments
  • 13 Hide
    wintermint , October 15, 2012 10:15 AM
    This isn't surprising at all. SSD is becoming a cheap easy way to upgrade a computer. The gb to price ratio have slowly and surely turned to the consumer's favor.
Other Comments
  • 13 Hide
    wintermint , October 15, 2012 10:15 AM
    This isn't surprising at all. SSD is becoming a cheap easy way to upgrade a computer. The gb to price ratio have slowly and surely turned to the consumer's favor.
  • 6 Hide
    captainblacko , October 15, 2012 10:16 AM
    doesn't surprise me. I bought my first SSD a few months back for my work laptop to help extend its life and I'd imagine most people are doing the same as the performance benefits out weigh the cost of buying a new machine.

    the laptop in question is a HP DV8 fitted with a cheap OCZ agility3 120GB SSD.

  • Display all 22 comments.
  • 6 Hide
    blubbey , October 15, 2012 10:41 AM
    Not surprising at all. They're becoming more affordable and more available. Good chance of it becoming a standard boot drive in a few years perhaps?
  • 4 Hide
    captainblacko , October 15, 2012 10:56 AM
    blubbeyNot surprising at all. They're becoming more affordable and more available. Good chance of it becoming a standard boot drive in a few years perhaps?

    i believe so.

    I also think if the PC market goes the way its going and they push the ITX form factor we may end up with motherboards coming out with SSD's soldered onto the boards which can be used as cache drives.
  • 2 Hide
    monkeymonk , October 15, 2012 11:12 AM
    I'm liking the trend! I already have one 256 gb m4 and am about to buy a 512 gb
  • -5 Hide
    Miharu , October 15, 2012 11:12 AM
    Not suprise at all.
    SSD are cheap.

    For the PC sale declining no suprise. They try to sell you a $600-650 laptop for $1,400 telling you it's because it's SLIM. Everybody want slim laptop but no one want to pay so much for a laptop WITHOUT any nvidia/ati videocard. Just check the new HP Envy that you have see in a pub at the theater.... $1,400 bucks!!!

    At the end, they also raised their $600-650 not slim model for $900.
    So you think it twice before buy one.
    HP, Lenovo, Dell,.... Declining sales but they make more profit by sale. They choice this path. So this probably change nothing for them.

    And a desktop cost almost the same price as before... and you don't need right now to change it.
  • 0 Hide
    deksman , October 15, 2012 11:16 AM
    It is also cheaper for people to simply buy individual components that might have a profound impact on performance compared to full blown computers.
    As for PC sales slowing down - this is not solely due to hardware exceeding software demands. Its also tied in predominantly with automation taking over and companies finding it more cost-effective (not to mention efficient) compared to human labor (which they are finding increasingly harder to justify).
    From a technological/resource point of view, this could have been done decades ago, but since we live in an economy where money and cost dictate everything, companies wait until technologies become cheap enough for them to implement (which they will do mainly if they see they can profit from it).
    But, the amount of people losing their jobs is increasing in speed - purchasing power is only going to go further down, and people won't be able to re-educate themselves to do something else fast enough because technology will outpace them (we cannot 'compete' with machines in this).

    In numerous situations, 3d design based software can easily push existing hardware to its limits and far beyond - and with the advent in 3d printers, such software is likely to become increasingly more commonplace.
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , October 15, 2012 11:38 AM
    Graph says "thousands of units", but the article's quotes are in millions. Which one's the typo?
  • 0 Hide
    cats_Paw , October 15, 2012 11:41 AM
    Declining market.... sure, there is an economical recession if i remmber right....
  • 1 Hide
    jrharbort , October 15, 2012 11:59 AM
    I remember exactly 4 years ago when I was looking at 128GB SSDs for around $400. The speeds were around 135MB/s reads, and 80MB/s writes. Now you can grab one today for as low as $80 with MUCH higher speeds, as well as vastly superior IOPS performance.
  • 0 Hide
    jay2tall , October 15, 2012 12:06 PM
    PC sales are declining because how much performance increase have we seen in the last... 4 years? It is all efficiency, feature, and integrated GPU enhancements. I'm a gamer and I'm still running my i7 920 CPU from over 3.5 years ago. I have no reason to upgrade. Though I did upgrade to an SSD recently. How often do people upgrade mobile devices? Every 2 years when their contract is up and tablet performance keeps increasing and you can't really upgrade a single component on them, so you have to buy new. If I want to upgrade a desktop you just slap some more RAM, an SSD, and at most replace the mobo/cpu. Besides, the average PC use keeps their desktop for something like 5 years anyway.
  • 1 Hide
    dthx , October 15, 2012 12:27 PM
    People stopped buying PC's because the current Windows 7 PCs are too good.
    10 or 15 years ago, you'd buy a very expensive high-end computer just to notice that after all you paid, it was still much slower and instable than expected (especially once you installed all your fonts/softwares/... on the PC). Editing photos/videos was not very pleasant and the 3D performances fell always short.
    Now, you can still work with a three years Windows 7 old mid-range PC and feel that it's largely sufficient for what you do. It won't overheat, has enough storage and runs at a good speed.
    Take a 4 years old PC with Vista, replace the boot drive by a cheap SSD, upgrade it to Windows7 and you get the feeling that you have a state of the art brand new machine !
  • -2 Hide
    Nossy , October 15, 2012 12:38 PM
    SSD's are in tablets and MACs also.

    PC markets are in decline because tablets and smartphone takes over some of the everyday tasks. A PC is generally good for hardcore gaming and other demanding tasks that requires a more specialized software.
  • 0 Hide
    ssd_pro , October 15, 2012 12:42 PM
    SSD will remain the biggest upgrade a person can make to a PC/mac that initially had a HDD. Changing memory, cpu, etc will not have as major an impact as changing a system from HDD to even a sata2 SSD. I have a couple Vertex 4 256GB drives and they are just amazing.
  • 5 Hide
    tecmo34 , October 15, 2012 1:06 PM
    ojasGraph says "thousands of units", but the article's quotes are in millions. Which one's the typo?
    Neither... The charts says in thousands, so you don't include the first three "000", so when it reads 17,000... it is actually 17,000,000.
  • 3 Hide
    ivanto , October 15, 2012 1:23 PM
    PC's "Actual" performance had exceeded the "Required" performance for most customers. Any improvements above what's perceived as required won't be valued as much and people won't pay money. Clayton Christensen explained it very well in Innovator's Dilemma.
  • 1 Hide
    dgingeri , October 15, 2012 3:12 PM
    I'm sure I've had a hand in that. I bought 5 this year, 3 of those in the June to August timeframe, one in May, and one just a couple weeks ago. I'm upgrading everything I have. It's the biggest impact an upgrade can have on a system.

    It's especially important considering how much manufacturers are charging for SSDs. Dell wants $500 for a 256GB drive in many of their laptops, while the general market is sitting at
  • 1 Hide
    jacobdrj , October 15, 2012 4:24 PM
    Why upgrade my desktop. I have a Core 2 Quad Q6600. I have 8 GB of RAM. I have a SSD for booting, a couple 1 TB hard drives for storage, and Windows 7. I even have a 6950 for good measure. Why do I need anything else?

    My laptops are all either dual-core with HT or true quad cores. They have between 8 and 16 GB of RAM, and all of them can run Google Earth well, play 1080p without problems and have real world battery life over 3 hours (much more when being conservative). Until something breaks, I am sticking with what I have...

    I am not alone.

    I just got someone to upgrade their dual core Core based laptop with 2 GB of RAM to a SSD instead of getting a new computer. It amazed him.

    I am doing it for someone else soon. I expect no less than WOW.

    Sure, would a new i7 Ivy Bridge be nice? Sure. But I have no need for it.

    At work, I just got upgraded to a Crucial M4, 8 GB of RAM, and Windows 7 64 on a 1st generation i5 laptop. I am happy as a clam. Going from a Scorpio Blue and Windows 7 32, it is like night and day.

    Our needs now are improved internet bandwidth. Mine is very good. But I want fiber.
  • 0 Hide
    chibiwings , October 15, 2012 5:00 PM
    I might upgrade on a 512GB ssd if holiday prices
  • 0 Hide
    Burodsx , October 15, 2012 8:07 PM
    Cheaper SSDs... faster speeds... increased storage over previous models... of course it's doing well and it will continue to do so.
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