Lite-On Expects NAND Shortage to Hurt SSD Sales
Samuel Wan / 2 years ago
Over the past while, more warning signs have popped up about the impending NAND flash memory shortage. Samsung has delayed the 850 Pro 4 TB and many others in the field have also felt the squeeze. One of the latest to join the ranks of victims is Lite-On, producers of SSDs under their own brand as well as Plextor. According to CEO Warren Chen, the company expects fewer sales due to reduced supply.
As Chen noted, the shortage is being caused by the increased demand from smartphones as well as the enterprise flash storage market. On the other side of the equation, SSD demand is also continuing to increase. Due to the higher demand, supply has been unable to keep up, meaning manufacturers will have have to prioritize certain more lucrative segments rather than the consumer market. Once supply dries up, we can expect higher prices from shops as they start having trouble keeping stock and no longer require discounts to drive sales.
So far, the price hikes haven’t been felt too deeply as SSD manufacturers have been stocking up on NAND to help ride out the storm. However, the indications show that their reserves have started running low. With increased supply not expected till at least 2018 at the earlier, I would expect SSD prices to slowly increase over the next while. Of course, the more popular the drive, the more likely it is to have supply issues. However, less popular drives may also see a lower production rate as companies start prioritizing lineups. One can only hope that this shortage won’t hurt too much.