An anticipated rise in SSD demand from the handset and PC sectors may prevent NAND flash prices from falling in the third quarter of 2018, according to industry sources.
NAND flash prices started falling at the end of 2017, but the price drops have slowed to about 10% in the second quarter, said the sources. With end-market demand picking up on seasonality, the market oversupply will be less significant, the sources indicated, reports DigiTimes:
NAND flash prices may continue to trend downward but at a much slower pace in the third quarter, with a possibility that prices may stop falling, the sources said. Nevertheless, the long-term outlook for NAND flash prices is that they will continue to decline, according to the sources. The fall in NAND flash prices has been accelerating the adoption of SSDs among PCs, the sources noted. ODMs have moved to promote models equipped with PCIe NVMe SSDs with volume production of their new devices slated to kick off in the third quarter, the sources said. Client SSDs are expected to transition from SATA to PCIe NVMe in 2018.
SSD prices had fallen about 50% from November 2017 to the end of the first quarter, Phison Electronics chairman Khein Seng Pua remarked recently. Prices are likely to rebound before or after the Computex 2018 trade show, and the supply of NAND flash will become tight again, according to Pua. The adoption of SSDs among handsets is also expected to increase stimulating the overall SSD demand in the third quarter, according to industry sources. Despite a slowdown in smartphone sales, the rise in the memory content per device will still make a positive contribution to NAND flash consumption in 2018. As for DRAM, prices continue to rise on tight supply. DRAM prices are expected to continue their growth through the third quarter, the sources said.