At least two manufacturers have reduced their 2TB SSD under $100 for the past few days on Amazon, an extraordinary low price reached outside of Amazon Prime Day and Black Friday/Cyber Monday.
Teamgroup, with its SATA-based AX2 (opens in a new tab)and Leven (opens in a new tab) are the first to break the $50 per TB barrier, and it is likely that many more will follow in the coming weeks/months.
According to analyst firm TrendForce, NAND-flashthe basic building block of all so-called solid-state storage (e.g. SSD, eMMC, microSD cards, USB drives, etc.) experienced oversupply caused by a combination of increased inventory and lower demand (both from consumers and businesses). This in turn will cause some companies to drastically cut prices by up to 20% as the end of the year approaches.
Price parity with future hard drives?
TrendForce analyst Bryan Ao said Tech Radar Pro“Because the NAND price continues to see a dark price [sic] In 2023, more and more vendors are offering QLC solutions in the market. Based on estimates, you may see vendors offering a 2TB QLC SSD solution [sic] under 80 on Black Friday 2023. If we are to predict the percentage for this scenario, the number will be 30%.
2TB seems like the sweet spot for price parity between HDDs and SSD could happen. There aren’t enough 4TB SSD SKUs on the market, and prices for 1TB SSDs haven’t come down as fast as their 2TB siblings. saw a significant drop in demand but thanks to vertical integration, the larger suppliers have been able to manage inventory much better and as a result prices have held up quite well.
Apart from the generally sluggish macro-economic factors, other variables caused an acceleration in the price decline of SSDs. The move to 176-layer technology means larger capacity SSDs can be produced at an equivalent cost, which means lower capacity drives (128GB, 256GB) are no longer financially viable. There’s also the fact that SSD stocks that use older SATA technology will likely be liquidated to make way for newer (and smaller) PCIe-based NVMe drives.
And then ?
So where are we? As of this writing, a 1TB internal SSD costs about two-thirds more than an equivalent hard drive with the same capacity/form factor (2.5 inches). The cheapest 2TB SSD costs just over twice the price of a 2TB HDD.
A 30% drop – as predicted by TrendForce – will bring the price of a 1TB SSD within a few dollars of a 1TB HDD. At this point, the only remaining reason to buy a HDD of this capacity will have practically disappeared. SSDs are generally faster, much more durable, lighter, have longer warranties, 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 (e.g. Web hosting, file hosting, online storage, cloud backup).