Samsung's 850 EVO consumer SSD now contains 32-stacked NAND flash cells, reducing cell density and increasing performance and endurance. Credit: Samsung
The prices of mainstream consumer SSDs have fallen dramatically every year over the past three, and by 2017 they are expected to be within 11 cents of the per-gigabyte price of hard disk drives (HDDs).
The plummeting prices have also driven the recent adoption of SSDs in laptops. This year, they will be used by manufacturers in about 24% to 25% of laptops, according to a new report by DRAMeXchange, a division of market research firm TrendForce.
Next year, SSDs are expected to be in 31% of new consumer laptops, and by 2017 they'll be in 41% of them, according to DRAMeXchange senior manager Alan Chen.
Nearing price parity
This marks the fourth straight quarter that the SSD price decline has exceed 10%. But, as popular as they've become, the adoption rate will fall below expectations this year, DRAMeXchange stated.
"Branded PC vendors and channel distributors are holding back on their SSD purchases due to lower-than-expected notebook sales," Chen said. "However, 256GB SSDs will be moving close to price parity with mainstream HDDs in 2016, so the adoption of SSDs in the business notebook segment will rise."
The per-gigabyte pricing of hard disk drives and SSDs. Credit: DRAMeXchange
While SSD pricing has dropped dramatically over the past three years, HDD pricing hasn't. From 2012 to 2015, per gigabyte pricing for HDDs dropped one cent per year from 9 cents in 2012 to 6 cents this year. However, through 2017, the per-gigabyte price of HDDs is expected to remain flat: 6 cents per gigabyte.
That means a 1TB hard drive will continue to retail for an average of about $60, though they can be found for under $45 on many online retail sites.
By comparison, consumer SSDs were selling for 99 cents a gigabyte in 2012. From 2013 to 2015, the price dropped from 68 cents to 39 cents per gig, meaning the average 1TB SSD sells for about $390.
Next year, SSD prices will decline to 24 cents per gigabyte and in 2017, they're expected to drop to 17 cents per gigabyte, Chen said. That means a 1TB SSD on average would retail for $170.
Consumer SSD shipments in the third quarter (including those from the retail SSD market) reached a total of 21.6 million units.
Third-quarter shipments of notebooks worldwide rose to 43.3 million units, up 13% from the previous quarter on account of peak seasonality, according to DRAMeXchange.
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