13 Jun 2024 -

SSD and Memory Price Hikes Expected to Hit Consumers in 2024

DRAM components

The electronics industry is bracing for another round of price increases for SSDs and memory, as major players like Dell and Samsung warn of rising component costs and production cuts. These price hikes, expected to reach 15-20% in the second half of 2024, are attributed to increased demand, particularly from the burgeoning AI sector, and reduced supply due to production cutbacks.

Dell’s COO, Jeff Clarke, recently highlighted the growing disparity between supply and demand in the memory market, stating, “Every indication – the lack of capital expenditure, low factory utilization, and not a lot of wafer starts – are going to lead to less supply than the market demand that will be out there.” He specifically pointed to the surging demand for high-bandwidth memory and high-speed storage in AI servers as a significant factor.

This prediction is already playing out in the consumer market, with Techspot reporting price increases across leading 500GB SSD models from January to April 2024. Models like the Crucial MX500 saw a modest $5 increase, while others like the Samsung 970 Evo Plus jumped by $15. With further price hikes anticipated, consumers are facing a less favourable market compared to last year’s record low prices.

Samsung, the largest supplier of flash memory, has drastically cut production by 50% compared to the previous year. This move, while not entirely unexpected, has raised alarms within the industry. PC Gamer reports that this significant reduction is likely to exacerbate the upward pressure on SSD prices as flash memory chip inventories dwindle.

The situation is further compounded by the growing demand from AI supercomputers, which require vast quantities of high-speed flash memory chips. While the traditional server market still leans towards HDDs for long-term storage, SSDs are gaining ground, further intensifying the demand.

However, the market isn’t entirely without hope for end0users. Some industry observers believe that Chinese manufacturers like YMTC may seize this opportunity to increase their market share by offering cheaper NAND flash chips. This could lead to more competitive pricing from brands like Lexar, which already utilise YMTC chips in their high-performance SSDs.

While the immediate outlook for SSD and memory prices appears bleak, the potential for increased competition and the ever-evolving dynamics of the tech industry offers a glimmer of hope for end-users seeking affordable storage solutions.

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