If I were a cigar-chomping Wall Street executive I’d be telling you to BUY BUY BUY based on the rock-bottom prices available for NAND flash memory and DRAM these days. Following well over a year of tumbling prices, it sounds as if prices may have bottomed out.
Industry sources close to Taiwan's DigiTimes suggest we could be set for a small price hike for DRAM and NAND memory. This follows month after month of plummeting prices and could mean the prices of DDR4 RAM and SSDs will begin to rise once again.
According to DigiTimes’ sources, “Taiwan memory modules makers including Adata Technology, Phison Electronics and Team Group are mulling a 10-15% hike in SSD prices and enforcing a limited-supply policy amid growing expectations that both NAND flash and DRAM chip prices may rebound.”
The messaging here is pretty clear. The price of DRAM and NAND flash memory has sunk as low as the hardware manufacturers are willing to go. The price of memory has dropped significantly due to excess supply which outstripped demand, causing the consumer cost of a 500GB SSD, for example, to drop to almost a quarter what it was in early 2018. In order to counter-act this, a number of memory module manufacturers are considering restricting supplies in order to drive prices back up.
Of course, the eagle-eyed lawyers among us have probably noticed this doesn’t exactly sound above board. This screams of price-fixing, collusion, and anti-competitive actions, although there would need to be a burden of proof above and beyond hearsay.
From a PC gaming perspective, this is probably our canary down the mine. We’ve had it good for the last few years but the party may be about to end. If you’re mulling over a potential memory or SSD upgrade then now may be the opportune time to splash the cash.