DRAMeXchange reports contract prices of mainstream solid state disks are down 10-11 percent this quarter, marking the fourth quarter in a row of price drops that exceed the 10 percent level.
Despite lower SSD pricing, adoption in the laptop market is going slower than anticipated due to weak market performance. This year the number of laptops with SSDs is estimated to be between 25 and 28 percent of total sales, and next year SSD penetration is expected to rise to over 30 percent of the laptop market.
DRAMeXchange Senior Manager Alan Chen also predicted that pricing of 256GB SSDs will be moving close to price parity with mainstream HDDs in 2016, which will result in higher adoption in the business notebook segment.
Third-quarter shipments of notebooks worldwide rose to 43.3 million units on a quarterly growth of about 13% on account of peak seasonality. However, the numbers are not as impressive as they appear since the second quarter’s base period was shorter. In the retail SSD market, channel distributors were conservative in their restocking efforts in the third quarter because they had expected NAND Flash prices to drop further. Therefore, retail SSD market’s total shipments during that period were disappointing by peak quarter standards, rising only slightly. As a result of the industry’s slowing momentum, the adoption rate of SSDs in the notebook market for the third quarter was around 24~25%. Client-SSD shipments in the same period (including those from the retail SSD market) reached a total of 21.6 million units.
Fourth quarter is the traditional peak sales season in the U.S. and European markets. Chen noted that while MacBook sales continue to grow and non-Apple branded notebooks with Intel’s Skylake CPUs have hit the market, quarterly notebook shipment growth will still be constrained by ongoing inventory adjustments. DRAMeXchange expects the SSD adoption rate in the notebook market to move up a bit to 27~28% during the same period.
Since the decline in NAND Flash prices and aggressive pricing from SSD suppliers are showing no sign of stopping, the retail SSD market will deviate from the seasonal pattern in the fourth quarter, with the global Client-SSD shipments registering a slight quarterly growth of 4~6%.