The Average Contract Prices of Enterprise SSD May Fall by 10% in 2Q18 due to Suppliers' Aggressive Price Strategy and Pressure to Consume Production Capacity, Says TrendForce
According to the report of DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce, the Enterprise SSD market has been expanding in recent years driven by the development of data center, AI, big data, 5G, and edge computing. The shipments of Enterprise SSD are expected to reach 30 million units this year, up from less than 20 million units in 2016. The year-on-year bit shipment growth of Enterprise SSD has been over 50% since 2016, showing the strongest growth momentum among all NAND Flash applications. The rapid growth is expected to continue in the next three years.
With regard to the market situation in 2Q18, the demand for Enterprise SSD from server and data center is expected to rebound significantly compared with 1Q18. However, “the oversupply will continue in NAND Flash market, where suppliers face the pressure to consume production capacity”, says Alan Chen, research director at DRAMeXchange. Therefore, the average contract price of Enterprise PCIe SSD and Enterprise SATA SSD may fall by 10% or more in 2Q18.
On the other hand, some suppliers of Enterprise SSD have applied aggressive price strategies to win more orders from OEMs and to acquire higher market share. This strategy will also help them lay the foundation for entering the promising Enterprise SSD market in the future. The adoption of the latest 64/72-layer 3D-NAND, which is more cost-competitive, is the main reason why these suppliers managed to implement the price war strategy.
In 3Q18, the NAND Flash market has a chance to see slight undersupply, driven by the demand for Enterprise SSD, Client SSD and smartphones. However, the competition among Enterprise SSD suppliers will become increasingly fierce. Therefore, the prices of Enterprise SSD are very likely to continue decreasing in the third quarter.
Chen notes that, key suppliers like Intel, Samsung, Micron, Toshiba, SK Hynix, etc. have already sent their latest 64/72-layer 3D-SSD products to main clients for test. The suppliers have also entered the mass production of these products, making the market competition more intense this year.
In addition, Purely, Intel's next-generation platform, will see faster penetration this year and become the mainstream of market, so most manufacturers have invested much of their R&D resources on PCIe interface-related products this year. Although some suppliers have plans to launch 3D-QLC SSD products in 2018, but will not see noticeable shipments until 1H19 at the soonest, considering the progress of R&D and the time needed by clients to test the products.
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