Here's Why SSD Prices Could Increase As Spring Approaches
If you spot a good deal on a solid state drive and are on the fence about it, you might want to pounce. That's because SSD prices could be about to rise. Probably nothing astronomical, though on the higher side of a recent estimate, client SSDs (which are those purchased by home consumers, as opposed to data center drives) could see a pricing uptick of 8 percent.
We are not hitting the panic button—it's hard to complain about SSD prices in general, given how far down they have come over the past year and earlier. Heck, we even saw Intel slash its SSD 670p pricing just two days after launching last week, to put is PCIe 3.0 offering more in line with the competition (you can grab the 1TB model for $130 on Amazon).
Nevertheless, pricing in general could be about to go up, according to a new TrendForce report. The market research firm cites "increasingly tight supply" as the reason, due to the "pre-existing shortage of NAND flash controllers," as opposed to a shortage of NAND flash memory chips (the latter of which is usually the reason why SSD prices fluctuate).
The situation is further "exacerbated" by a recent outage at one of Samsung's semiconductor plants. A severe winter storm that blanketed Texas resulted in Samsung temporarily suspending activities at its Austin-based plant, from around the middle of February to March 2. The good news is, the plant's operations have started to recover. However, the report notes that it will not reach climb back up to above 90 percent capacity until the end of this month.
"SSD manufacturers are therefore preparing to raise the prices of SSDs. Accordingly, TrendForce has also revised up its forecast of client SSD prices for 2Q21 from 'mostly flat' to a 3-8 percent increase QoQ instead," the report states.
It remains to be seen if this will truly impact standalone SSD sales, or be more limited to laptops and pre-built desktops. The report notes that Samsung's Austin plant produces the company's in-house controllers for its own products, as well as ICs for client SSDs shipped to PC OEMs.
Either way, this should be a temporary thing. Back in December, the same market research firm issued a report suggesting SSD prices could plummet this year, so we'll have to wait and see what happens.