Quick – buy an SSD now before a potential big price hike

An unhappy PC Gamer sat at their desk
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SSD pricing has been in something of a state of flux, because after some upward movement in 2021, it was thought that drives could drop in price as 2022 began – but that prediction has potentially just changed to an extent.

Previously, analyst firm TrendForce believed that NAND Flash prices would, due to a ‘slight’ oversupply, drift downwards by 8% to 13% in Q1 of 2022, and drop again by 5% to 10% in Q2.

However, a new development is a ‘material contamination’ incident in late January at WDC and Kioxia production lines in Japan, which will have a sizeable impact, as it involved some 6.5 Exabytes (an Exabyte is a billion Gigabytes) of 3D NAND.

TrendForce wrote: “The impact of WDC’s material contamination issue is significant and Samsung’s experience during the previous lockdown of Xi’an due to the pandemic has also retarded the magnitude of the NAND Flash price slump.”

The result being TrendForce’s prediction – and remember, this is still just a forecast, not cast-iron by any means – is that while Q1 NAND pricing will still decline, it won’t drop by as much: it could fall by around 5% to 10%. And moreover, in Q2, rather than a drop, we could see a spike in pricing of 5% to as much as 10%.

Analysis: Flash incident likely to have a knock-on effect with SSD pricing

These NAND flash chips are used in SSDs, and as the analyst firm observes, WDC and Kioxia production is primarily focused on SSDs and eMMC drives for PCs, so pricing increases – if they happen – would have a knock-on effect. So in Q2 (maybe from April), the prices of at least some SSD models could rise.

The conclusion being that if you’re risk averse, and planning to get an SSD in the near future, then now, or in the next month or so, might be a good time to pull the trigger. And don’t forget, for bargain hunters, we’ve got a guide to the best cheap SSD deals.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).