Gartner Expects SSDs To Break Out In 2012

Solid State Drives are popular among power users and are commonly used in high-end machines but by and large, they're absent from the average Joe's computer due to their higher price tag. Gartner expects this could change in 2012 however as the price of SSDs decreases. By the second half of 2012, Gartner predicts that mainstream PC SSDs will decrease to $1 per gigabyte.

Once SSDs reach this lower price, Gartner expects more and more consumers will begin to use SSDs. Although SSDs offer many benefits, including a smaller form factor, faster performance, and additional power efficiency compared to traditional hard drives, their higher price has largely kept them from the majority of consumers' hands. SSDs gained a strong hold in the enterprise market in 2010.

Today, some consumer-grade laptops offer SSDs as an option. For example, some thin and light notebooks such as the MacBook Air and Dell's Vostro V130 currently come with SSDs. In the case of notebooks, SSDs enable longer battery life than comparable systems with traditional hard drives.

Gartner expects the price for SSDs, a type of NAND flash memory, will decrease as more consumers demand more storage capacity on their devices. This year, the average selling price of NAND flash is expected to decline by 30%. It is expected to decrease another 36% from 2011 to 2012. As manufacturers add capacity to meet this increased demand, prices are likely to decrease. The increased demand for tablet PCs has also helped to drive up the demand for NAND flash.