Western Digital confirms HDD and NAND flash shortages, warns partners of higher pricing

Western Digital Building
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Following last year's reports of a "potential" NAND shortage, and with the recent Taiwan Earthquake further disrupting the tech industry's supply chain, Western Digital has officially informed its partners that it will "continue to implement price increases on flash and hard drive products this quarter." These increases started on April 8th [h/t Trendforce, original source TechNews.TW].

The following screenshot shows the official letter that was sent to partners and provided to TechNews.TW. The original coverage posits that the booming AI market is most likely responsible for the surge in demand that WD refers to in the message.

Screenshot of the message WD sent to its partners.

Screenshot of the message WD sent to its partners. (Image credit: TechNews.tw)

Scott Davis, Senior VP of WD's Channel and Regional OEM Sales, likely sent this notification to direct business partners. However, it's certainly just as important for consumers moving into 2024. Higher-than-expected demand combined with supply constraints have pushed us out of the era of dirt-cheap storage now, as was rumored last fall. Hopefully, the increased prices won't last too long.

TechNews.TW's sources point toward HDD pricing increasing by as much as 10%, with a minimum 5% pricing increase expected. There are no hard numbers for NAND flash pricing, but NAND prices were already heading up and we expect further pricing increases could be in line with HDDs, if not worse.

Trendforce's coverage points to its own Q3 2023 revenue data, where WD is the third-largest NAND flash manufacturer, with Samsung and SK hynix taking the top two spots. Phison's CEO warned back in March that the ever-rising prices of SSDs could "hobble NAND flash industry with reduced demand." That doesn't seem to be the case for now, but it will take time for the effects of the price increases to propagate through the chain.

Last year saw prices on the best SSDs fall to under $100 for decent quality 2TB M.2 PCIe 4.0 models, with even higher-end options like the WD Black SN850X and Samsung 990 Pro falling below $125. Currently, the WD Black SN850X 2TB costs $156 while the Samsung 990 Pro 2TB costs $176. Larger 4TB drives were going for as little as $160, compared to today's $209 for the Silicon Power UD90 4TB.

Hopefully you were able to take advantage of the low prices while they lasted. We warned in November that Black Friday / Cyber Monday might be the last chance for a a dirt-cheap SSD, and that has proven to be the case. This statement from Western Digital only points toward pricing getting worse before it gets better. While we wait for prices to come back down, check our routinely updated SSD and HDD Deals, where we'll try to help you make the most of these market conditions.

Freelance News Writer
  • umeng2002_2
    Cut production then act like surprised when there is a shortage, classic memory manufacturers.
  • Starfal
    umeng2002_2 said:
    Cut production then act like surprised when there is a shortage, classic memory manufacturers.
    So true... and it keeps on repeating and repeating. I wonder if that will forever be allowed and legal.
  • t3t4
    I don't care what they do. Jack the price to the moon, don't matter none to me. I won't buy anything until it meets my price point! If you all do the same then you'll control the market and the price, just like me 😁.