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Old August 29, 2010, 09:02 AM
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Default SSD price drop... for real this time?

So everybody's heard rumors concerning large SSD price drops for the past year or more, but it's yet to materialize. However, I have a cousin that works in the industry and word is that at least one major manufacturer (I believe it was Samsung, but I need to confirm that as I was drinking quite a bit at the time of the discussion) has unofficially announced that they have paid off the build overhead/cost of their NAND SSD factories. This has dropped the manufacturing cost of SSD's by a whopping 80%! This would put SSD's not far above regular HDD's in manufacturing cost.

Now there are a couple things to consider if this information is accurate. First is that the current saturation of high cost SSD's in the market would need to be liquidated before the consumer sees this drop. Next is that an 80% manufacturing drop does NOT translate to an 80% price drop for the consumer. (Unfortunately) And finally, assuming this information is accurate, how long do they operate at a large profit margin before passing the savings on?

My estimate, again assuming this information is accurate, is that we'll see a savings by Q2, 2011. But whether it translates to a 40% price drop, or a lowly 15-20% to keep money in corporate pockets, is anyone's guess.


I've been scouring the net for anything posted to get at least 1 confirmation on this, but I haven't come up with anything yet. If I can come up with anything official, I'll post it.
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Old August 29, 2010, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Caldezar View Post
(I believe it was Samsung, but I need to confirm that as I was drinking quite a bit at the time of the discussion)
Usually these drinking stories start with "this is no bullshit, I was there"


I hope you are right, I have been holding off ssd purchase because of the cost.
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Old August 29, 2010, 09:18 AM
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thanks for the heads up. the lowly estimate is probably more viable to their greedy pockets, with the upper end on super mega pikachu sale!! :)

ive dealth mostly with value series, give or take an enterprise one but rare. overpriced? understatement.
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Old August 29, 2010, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by stoanee View Post
Usually these drinking stories start with "this is no bullsh*t, I was there"


I hope you are right, I have been holding off ssd purchase because of the cost.
*edited quote as original profanity doesn't make it through my work firewall...


Yeah, when I hear info like this third party while drinking with friends or family, I try to be very clear about that when I pass it on. If anything, I'm leading the "I'll believe it when I see it" committee, as I'm always hopeful, but ever a skeptic.

I'm in the same boat as you on holding off though, as are a huge chunk of people. I've been VERY close to purchasing Raptors to try for better speeds; but I've heard the volume they can reach is a bit sickening...
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Old August 29, 2010, 09:44 AM
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This really doesnt mean jack, right now. It has potential to the consumer, but in a capitalistic world what this means is samsung can undercut everyone in selling NAND, make a hefty profit, and guarantee sales because no other manufacturer of NAND can touch them.

We wont see a price drop until there is competition at similar price points for NAND sales. IE: When intel's NAND approaches the same price point, then and only then will the consumer see a significant price drop.
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Old August 29, 2010, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Caldezar View Post
word is that at least one major manufacturer (I believe it was Samsung, but I need to confirm that as I was drinking quite a bit at the time of the discussion) has unofficially announced that they have paid off the build overhead/cost of their NAND SSD factories. This has dropped the manufacturing cost of SSD's by a whopping 80%!
No. The manufacturing costs are the same. The only thing that means is that Samsung has paid off their debt.
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Old August 29, 2010, 09:57 AM
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Honestly, I can see either a mild or a moderate price drop happening within a years time (more nand factories coming online, older ones being paid off yet still pumping out nand, etc etc) ....but I dont see a huge 50-75% drop. They have to retool for higher density production fairly often and those costs are big. Not cost of a factory big...but big. I can also see SSD makers milking any cost savings for all its worth and only slowly passing the savings down to us. Its still a niche product and thus they want to make as much profit as possible per customer.

My guess we are going to look back at SSD prices and think of the cycle of RAM pricing.

Anyone remember the days of OMFG expensive ram? And how it didnt chage over night; rather declined a bit...went up a bit....declined even more...went up....etc etc till we got to the point where they are "cheap" and it had more to do with density of a chip rather then price per CHIP cost. The more they can squeeze on to one chip...the better prices will get "overall".

Good 30-40GBers dropped 40 bucks in a bout a year to the magic 100'ish buck mark. Most likely we will see "good" 50-64gb'ers hit that price within 4 - 6 Qs. UNLESS Apple or another big player sucks the market dry again, that was one of the big reasons we didnt see a very big price drop the last time...NAND demand outstripped production....and nand makers laughed all the way to the bank :/
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Old August 29, 2010, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by AkG View Post
Honestly, I can see either a mild or a moderate price drop happening within a years time (more nand factories coming online, older ones being paid off yet still pumping out nand, etc etc) ....but I dont see a huge 50-75% drop. They have to retool for higher density production fairly often and those costs are big. Not cost of a factory big...but big. I can also see SSD makers milking any cost savings for all its worth and only slowly passing the savings down to us. Its still a niche product and thus they want to make as much profit as possible per customer.

My guess we are going to look back at SSD prices and think of the cycle of RAM pricing.

Anyone remember the days of OMFG expensive ram? And how it didnt chage over night; rather declined a bit...went up a bit....declined even more...went up....etc etc till we got to the point where they are "cheap" and it had more to do with density of a chip rather then price per CHIP cost. The more they can squeeze on to one chip...the better prices will get "overall".

Good 30-40GBers dropped 40 bucks in a bout a year to the magic 100'ish buck mark. Most likely we will see "good" 50-64gb'ers hit that price within 4 - 6 Qs. UNLESS Apple or another big player sucks the market dry again, that was one of the big reasons we didnt see a very big price drop the last time...NAND demand outstripped production....and nand makers laughed all the way to the bank :/

I remember the collusion and price fixing cartel in the RAM market, not sure how one could ascertain market pressures within that.
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Old August 29, 2010, 12:51 PM
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And you dont think there isnt a touch of price fixing going on in NAND? At the very least the couple big boys making most NAND now are in "nodding acquaintance" with each other. Look at who were the big players in ram (and the scandal)...and then look at who the major NAND players are...notice any similarities between the two groups? Leopards dont change their spots.

Not saying there IS or isnt. Dont know. But I have a feeling we are going to look back on this and see certain cycles happening all over again.
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Old August 29, 2010, 01:04 PM
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Not saying there IS or isnt. Dont know. But I have a feeling we are going to look back on this and see certain cycles happening all over again.

Yeah, stepping back and looking at the situation I'd certainly have to say your thoughts have merit. Unfortunately for consumers, profit margins speak louder than words. And the product will sell regardless of a price drop, so we're trapped in a box we built ourselves.
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