ExtremePro64 SanDisk set to cut pricing on retail flash products too

Kingston appears to be only the first in what might be an industry wide move towards reducing pricing for NAND flash based products, as no SanDisk is reported to be following in Kingston's footsteps. SanDisk is said to be slashing the price of its retail flash memory cards and USB drives to keep up with the competition.

Kingston appears to be only the first in what might be an industry wide move towards reducing pricing for NAND flash based products, as no SanDisk is reported to be following in Kingston's footsteps. SanDisk is said to be slashing the price of its retail flash memory cards and USB drives to keep up with the competition.

Digitimes is reporting that SanDisk has more or less been forced into this situation as the company want to maintain its market share which is said to be about 40 percent. Dropping its prices will allow SanDisk to boost its sales volume which would allow it to maintain its market share. The question that begs to be answered though is what products SanDisk will be discounting. We have a feeling that it's unlikely to be its high-end, high-margin memory cards used by professional users; instead we'd expect SanDisk to adjust the pricing on its more mainstream products.

2012 looks set to be a very competitive year for NAND flash products with a general downward trend in pricing if DRAMeXchange numbers are anything to go by. 64Gbit (8GB) TLC NAND flash chips are going for under US$5 a piece now and with a move towards 2Xnm and sub 20nm manufacturing processes, these prices are only likely to decrease further. This should allow for vastly more affordable consumer grade flash memory card as well as USB drives, but isn't really suitable for use in SSDs as yet. MLC NAND flash is also trending downwards and even large size 256Gbit (32GB) chips are selling for well under US$35 with the more commonly used 128Gbit (16GB) chips going for about US$16 a chip on average.

Of course this is spot pricing and not contract pricing, but even a standard 120 or 128GB SSD uses 16 128Gbit chip which current average spot pricing would mean that just the NAND flash in your average SSD is close to US$130 and that is not far off from what a cheap SSD in the 120 to 128GB market segment costs today. In fact, looking at online retail prices in the US, SanDisk is offering its 120GB Ultra series SSD for as little as US$130 and that's without any kind of rebate. It might not be the fastest SSD out there, but it suggests that SanDisk's price reductions might already be taking place.

Source: Digitimes