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DRAM and NAND prices set to drop this year ahead of steep decline in 2019

Although Intel’s 14nm CPU shortage wasn’t the most welcome news last month, it did enable DRAMeXchange to tease a much-needed price decline within both the DRAM and NAND markets. This is set to steepen throughout 2019, however weak price trends suggest that we could see significant price drops by the end of the year.

Despite a 1 to 2 percent price increase on DRAM throughout the third quarter, DRAMeXchange notes that this is a much weaker trend quarter on quarter (QoQ) than we're used to seeing. Boffins have since readjusted their prediction from a 2 percent drop in the DRAM market to a more significant “5 percent or more QoQ in 4Q18.”

NAND Flash memory has already begun to decline, however, experiencing a 10 percent price drop in the third quarter. The report suggest that this could drop as much as 15 percent before the end of the year.

DRAMeXchange expects that this downward trend is due to three distinct reasons: “First, the smartphone market this year may not see remarkable shipments, since the replacement demand for smartphones has been sluggish due to the lack of differentiation among products in terms of hardware specifications. Second, the server shipments are uncertain. Third, the notebook and PC shipments may be impacted by the shortage of Intel CPUs.”

What’s better is that DRAMeXchange is being understandably conservative with its estimations, meaning that there could be even greater price drops. This depends on the weakening state of the server market and the somewhat-stagnant smartphone market, which is noticeably dwindling in demand for upgrades.

2019 could potentially usher in a 25 to 30 percent decline in the NAND Flash memory space thanks to increase 3D NAND production, inevitably seeing solid state drives (SSDs) become much more affordable. By just how much still remains to be seen, however, but trends are certainly looking good.

KitGuru Says: Of course, this still wouldn’t return DRAM and NAND pricing to what it once was, but any drop in price is a welcome one. Are you in the market to upgrade your RAM or SSD? How much would you be willing to pay?

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