At least two manufacturers have scaled back their 2TB SSD to less than $100 in recent days at Amazon, an exclusive low price reached outside of Amazon Prime Day and Black Friday/Cyber Monday.
According to analyst firm TrendForce, NAND flashthe basic building block of all so-called solid-state storage devices (e.g. SSD, eMMC, microSD cards, flash drives, etc.) is in oversupply caused by a combination of increased inventory and a drop in demand (both from consumers and businesses). This, in turn, will cause some companies to significantly reduce their prices by up to 20% as the end of the year approaches.
Coming to price parity with hard drives?
TrendForce analyst Brian Ao said TechRadar Pro“As the price of NAND continues to see a dismal price [sic] in 2023, more and more vendors are bringing QLC solutions to the market. Based on the evaluation, it is possible to see that the vendors offer a 2TB QLC SSD solution [sic] under 80 on Black Friday 2023. If we were to predict the percentage of this scenario, the number would be 30%.”
2TB seems to be the sweet spot where price parity between them hard drives and SSD can happen. There aren’t enough 4TB SSD SKUs on the market and 1TB SSD prices haven’t dropped as fast as their 2TB siblings. Hard drives have too there is a significant drop in demand but due to vertical integration, the largest suppliers were able to manage inventory much better and as such prices held down quite well.
Outside of the usually bleak macroeconomic factors, other variables caused the decline in SSD prices to accelerate. The move to 176-layer technology means that higher-capacity SSDs can be produced at an equivalent cost, meaning that lower-capacity drives (128GB, 256GB) are no longer financially viable. There’s also the fact that stock SSDs that use the older SATA technology will likely be phased out to make way for the newer (and smaller) PCIe-based NVMe drives.
So where does that leave us? At the time of writing, an internal 1TB SSD costs about two-thirds more than an equivalent hard drive of the same capacity/form factor (2.5 inches). The cheapest 2TB SSD costs just over twice the price of a 2TB HDD.
A drop of 30% – as TrendForce predicts – will bring the price of a 1TB SSD to a few dollars for a 1TB HDD. At that point, the only reason left to buy a hard drive with that capacity will pretty much disappear. SSDs are usually faster, much more durable, lighter, have a longer warranty and consume less power.
Larger HDD capacities are safe for now as they remain unchallenged, at least in terms of value for money, above 4TB for hyperscale applications (eg. web hosting, file hosting, cloud storage, cloud backup).