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NAND flash pricing drop slows; experts disagree on forecasts

Carol Sliwa|Senior News Writer, TechTarget
05 Sep 2019

Analyst predicts price stabilization

Greg Wong, founder and principal analyst at Forward Insights, expects NAND flash pricing to increase through the rest of the year and become relatively stable in 2020 as inventory levels normalize. He predicted that the June power outage at Toshiba's Yokkaichi factory and a rebound in demand will help to reduce inventory levels.

Wong said NAND flash suppliers are unprofitable at current pricing levels, which could prompt them to raise prices.

NAND cost only part of array price picture

Although NAND chips represent a significant part of the cost of the solid-state drives (SSDs), flash pricing declines don't necessarily translate to savings for all enterprises buyers.

Businesses that buy raw flash in bulk to make their own SSDs were likely in a position to negotiate better prices during the NAND oversupply period. Wong said OEMs and datacenters that purchase SSDs can also take advantage of lower prices.

But Wong said enterprise IT customers benefit less because list prices for flash storage systems don't fall in tandem with the reduction in NAND component costs. Storage vendors consider many factors, including competitive pressure and market conditions, when setting array prices.

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