While we've been able to rely on solid-state disk (SSD) prices falling almost weekly since they were introduced, that trend could be coming to an end soon, claims memory vendor SanDisk.
The sweet spot seems to be the $1 per gigabyte mark, and that seems to have been hit with the new higher-capacity versions of the Ultra Plus drives unveiled at CES 2013 this year.
Speaking to PC Pro, SanDisk's director of product marketing for solid-state drives Cliff Sun said that prices fell significantly last year, but said he expects things to calm this year, partly because some player will price themselves out of the market.
"A lot of players try to get market share and try to win by lowering prices, and that means some end up exiting out of the market," said Sun.
"Those who own the cost of NAND flash have a significant advantage," Sun added, pointing out that SanDisk produces its own storage chips. "Those who own that flash can survive shortages as well as times of declining ASPs [average selling prices]."
Over the past year SSD prices have fallen by almost a quarter as OEMs not only fit SSDs into new devices such as ultrabooks, but also look to replace traditional hard drives with the new technology. We're still a few years off from solid state drives completely ousting hard drives out of PCs.
Given that three makers currently dominate the hard drive market -- Western Digital, Seagate, and Samsung -- SSD makers have to tread carefully in case the same thing happens to their market. Supply chain sources I have spoken to have in the past expressed concern at how fast SSD prices were being driven down, and the effect that this would have in the long term on the health of the industry.