Today, however, TrendForce division DRAMeXchange is getting a bit more aggressive in its analysis of the market, and is expecting larger declines in 2019 for both DRAM and NAND flash. In addition to the aforementioned Intel shortage, there is uncertainty in the server market, and smartphone demand has been "sluggish" due to many people sitting out the yearly upgrade cycle. DRAMeXchange says that "super cycle" of nine consecutive months of pricing increases is set to end, with DRAM prices declining by about 5 percent during the fourth quarter. That downward pressure is expected to increase next year with DRAMeXchange forecasting that DRAM prices could drop by as much as 15 to 20 percent.
"The bit output has been increasing in Q3 and Q4 this year thanks to the increased share of products on the 1X/1Y nm processes and raised yield rate of the technology," writes DRAMeXchange. "Particularly, server DRAM products show the highest increase in output, of which the 1Gb solutions are the most profitable among other applications."
NAND flash prices may see an even steeper drop-off in 2019 due to lackluster demand in the consumer electronics market. The stagnant smartphone market once again rears its head here, leading to an oversupply in NAND. Couple that with expanded production of 64- and 72-layer NAND, and even fierce demand from the enterprise SSD market won't be enough to stem the price slide. It's forecast that NAND flash could see prices fall by 25 to 30 percent in 2019 unless NAND flash producers temper production.
So, what does all of this mean? We could start seeing some nice holiday discounts on desktop memory and SSDs in the coming months and into the new year if this forecast holds up.