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SSD Pricing Could Tumble as NAND Prices Predicted to Drop by 35%

SSD prices falling
(Image credit: SK hynix)

The semiconductor industry analysts at TrendForce have highlighted a likely seismic shock on the way to the NAND Flash market — the firm's investigations indicate that manufacturer inventories are reaching a "breaking point" because the usual "peak season" demand surge failed to materialize this year. Thus, TrendForce has revised its already-gloomy predictions of a 15-20% decline in flash pricing down to 30-35%. These estimates are all the more jarring as they are expected to occur in a single quarter, the current Q3 2022. Moreover, with NAND flash ICs being a key cost component of SSDs, we should expect price cuts to seep through to consumer SATA and NVMe SSD models.

The expected price collapse is a pretty good example of the boom and bust cycle we see in the semiconductor space. As TrendForce notes, manufacturers saw rapid flash consumption growth from consumers and enterprises building server systems during the pandemic. This led manufacturers to expand aggressively while they increased bit capacity output with 128+ layer technologies.

SSD prices falling

(Image credit: Micron)

All the gung-ho optimism and investment now looks set to go nowhere (for a while) as demand for NAND-consuming devices like smartphones and laptops has fallen considerably. Part of the reason behind the drop will be the post-pandemic mood, but we are also dealing with a war in Europe, double-digit inflation, and energy price hikes making people more careful with their disposable income. Some will even have seen disposable income vanish as prices of basic necessities eat into budgets.

TrendForce also foresees some level of market consolidation due to the NAND Flash pricing situation. In other words, it reckons some flash makers will buy up others during the downturn.

A Further 20% Price Slide in Q4 2022?

Moving into Q4 2022, TrendForce expects manufacturers to strive to maintain market share at all costs, exacerbating oversupply and the need to make irresistible deals with NAND Flash consumers. It doesn’t say when it sees this rapid downward trend bottoming out, but that flash pricing will likely continue the downward pricing trend into next year.

(Image credit: Camelx3)

In brief, things look good if you are in the market for a replacement or expansion SSD. Prices should drop for those with patience, and not much patience should be needed to get more for your money. Checking out various price history websites, we see that a downward SSD pricing trend has been well established for several months (see above Samsung example). According to the industry report, pricing is only going one way for the next half year or so.

While you save your pennies, it is probably worth a look at our frequently updated Best SSDs 2022 guide so you will have a good idea about the best price/performers in the SATA and NVMe segments in the market right now.

Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.

  • wifiburger
    we need cheap 2tb & 4tb, don't really care if they are pcie3

    been stuck over the years buying 512mb, tops 1tb nvme because anything more it was crazy expensive

    got so tired of waiting for a good price , got a 11tb usb3.0 hdd; surprisingly my games don't care being limited to 220mb/s:ROFLMAO: and don't need to shuffle / uninstall
    Reply
  • Pextaxmx
    wifiburger said:
    we need cheap 2tb & 4tb, don't really care if they are pcie3

    been stuck over the years buying 512mb, tops 1tb nvme because anything more it was crazy expensive

    got so tired of waiting for a good price , got a 11tb usb3.0 hdd; surprisingly my games don't care being limited to 220mb/s:ROFLMAO: and don't need to shuffle / uninstall

    True for 4Tb drives. But 2Tb has been the cheapest per GB for a while.
    Reply
  • Lafong
    wifiburger said:
    we need cheap 2tb & 4tb, don't really care if they are pcie3

    I've sorta tracked 4 TB prices for the last couple of years.

    Quite surprised a couple of hours ago to find out that 4 TB gen 3 Crucial P3 M.2 2280 is $290 at both Newegg and Crucial direct.

    Backordered at both.

    Not sure how long that has been cheapest name brand I've seen. And NVMe, no less.

    Previous low had been Crucial MX500 standard 2.5 inch SATA at about 315 dollars.
    Reply
  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    Not holding my breath for mainstream affordable 4 and 8 TB SSDs anytime soon, sadly.
    Reply
  • jackt
    The P41 2TB is 800$ ( as if unavailable ) and the 1T doesnt exist. so i wouldnt put it in the article pic.
    Reply
  • watzupken
    There is a limit as to number of NVM-E SSDs that one can buy and install in their system. So at some point, people will stop buying since they can easily reuse existing SSDs even if they buy a new computer. In the OEM space, people don't keep buying PCs. They did that during the pandemic lockdown to facilitate working/ studying from home. Now that there is no such requirement in most places, PC sales decline/ stagnation is not unexpected.
    Reply
  • peachpuff
    Nand prices to tumble? I don't think so, there will be a fire in one of these plants soon and prices will go up again.
    Reply
  • Krotow
    wifiburger said:
    we need cheap 2tb & 4tb, don't really care if they are pcie3

    been stuck over the years buying 512mb, tops 1tb nvme because anything more it was crazy expensive

    got so tired of waiting for a good price , got a 11tb usb3.0 hdd; surprisingly my games don't care being limited to 220mb/s:ROFLMAO: and don't need to shuffle / uninstall

    I would bet on reliability more. Losing 2TB and above at one day is not the thing I want. 2 x 1TB NVMe so far turned out good enough for me for both documents, work data and Steam game cache. External drives cover the rest.

    Games rarely utillize even 220 MB/s when they are installed. Of course there is strugle during level/texture loading (still hope on DirectStorage and alternatives coming into everyday use soon), but otherwise storage I/O is negligible.
    Reply