SSD prices face uncertain future in 2014

intel ssd
Credit: Intel

The slow pace of change in the flash-manufacturing industry means that prices of SSDs will likely hold steady compared to 2013, but price hikes could be in the offing.

In short, expect to spend about 75 cents per gigabyte (GB) on an SSD in 2014, according to Jim Handy, an analyst with Objective Analysis. The average capacity drive that makers produce should be about 200GB—relatively tiny as far as consumer storage goes, but in line with corporate policies that call for keeping data on corporate servers where it can be managed.

And while some manufacturers try to differentiate their products through technologies that can improve performance, it’s not clear how much they’re succeeding. That’s forcing SSD manufacturers into direct competition, where price is the differentiating factor.

The bottom line is that SSDs still are a capacity game: people buy the largest amount of storage they can within their budget, and they ignore the rest, Handy said.

ocz vector ssd OCZ

After being bought out by Toshiba, OCZ was on hand at CES 2014 to show off its recently-introduced Vector drives.

The appeal of solid-state discs are undeniable, especially in an increasingly mobile world. Over the long run, flash chips within SSDs are generally faster and consume less power than a spinning, traditional hard drive. SSDs are also rugged, withstanding drops and jars that can cause a hard drive to crash.

But SSDs are also more expensive on a dollars-per-GB basis than a hard drive, and if an SSD does fail—a real rarity these days, granted—data isn’t as recoverable as a hard drive. With that said, SSDs are one of the most effective upgrades for an older PC. They’re predicted to capture more and more of the storage market over time, with traditional hard drives remaining relatively static, according to iSuppli.

ssd market isuppli iSuppli

SSDs are expected to gobble up the incremental demand for storage, according to iSuppli.

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