Tech Market Snapshot: SSD adoption in notebooks on the up, NAND flash prices to stabilise

DRAMeXchange projects that SSD adoption rate in the notebook market may approach the 40% threshold in Q4
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We roundup the latest news from analysts and firms to see which tech categories are doing well and which aren’t, as well as future predictions and the latest trends.

SSD ADOPTION IN NOTEBOOKS COULD HIT 40% BY THE END OF THE YEAR

In the mainstream PC-Client OEM SSD market for the second quarter, the average contract prices of TLC- and MLC-based products respectively fell 4~11% and 6~10% compared with the prior quarter, according to DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce.

Looking ahead to the third quarter, the overall supply-demand situation in the NAND Flash market may become more balanced. Therefore, the decline in SSDs’ average contract prices will moderate by then because major SSD suppliers will be under less pressure to reduce their inventory stockpiles and can instead focus on increasing profits.

Furthermore, Samsung’s next-generation SSDs based on TLC V3 (V-NAND) architecture will exert significant influence on the market during the second half of this year. Changes in SSD contract prices will depend on whether Samsung can successfully mass produce this product.

DRAMeXchange senior manager Alan Chen said HDD suppliers will continue to raise product prices to boost their gross margins. Towards the end of the year, Chen forecasts that the prices of 128GB SSDs will be lower than those of 500GB HDDs, while the price difference between 256GB SSDs and 1TB HDDs will be less than US$5. Thus, SSDs will become more attractive in terms of cost-performance.

DRAMeXchange projects that SSD adoption rate in the notebook market will exceed 30% in this year and may even approach the 40% threshold in this fourth quarter.

NAND FLASH PRICES TO STABLISE IN H2 2016

Sean Yang, research director of TrendForce’s memory division DRAMeXchange offered attendees at this year’s Computex show his insights on the NAND Flash market for this year’s second half.

He revealed that NAND Flash end-market demand has started to gradually pick up recently on account of Apple stocking up for the next iPhone release and the strong growth in the SSD market. At the same time, the demand from Chinese smartphone brands has been steady because they have also introduced new product models to the market.

Consequently, the global NAND Flash market will shift away from oversupply and reach a balance in the third quarter. By that time, NAND Flash prices are expected to cease falling and stay on a stable trend. The market situation in the fourth quarter will depend on sales momentums of the next iPhone and other smartphone products. On the whole, supply-demand situation in the second half of this year will be steadier compared with the first half.

MOBILE APP USERS SPEND 24% MORE ON IN-APP TRANSACTIONS THAN UPFRONT PAYMENTS

Mobile app users spend 24 per cent more on in-app transactions than on upfront app payments, according to an online consumer survey by Gartner.

Consumer preference for in-app transactions indicates that the flexibility they offer is delivering a better customer experience than paid-for downloads.

"Overall, the survey results showed that mobile app users are spending $7.40 on paid-for apps every three months and $9.20 on in-app transactions, resulting in a quarter more spending on in-app transactions," said Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner.

"This confirms that once users are confident that an app delivers the expected value without having to pay upfront, they then find it easier to spend on in-app transactions."

NO SIGN OF AN END FOR SHOP PRICE DEFLATION

A new report from the BRC-NEILSEN shop price index has revealed that overall shop prices reported deflation of 1.8% in May from the 1.7% decline in April – broadly in line with the 12-month average.

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive at British Retail Consortium, said: “The fact that today’s figures remain deflationary doesn’t come as a great surprise. We’ve experienced a record run of falling shop prices and, for the time being, there’s little to suggest that’ll end any time soon – so the good news for consumers continues.

“Looking slightly longer term we know that the recent commodity price increases will start to put pressure on retailers to raise their own prices. We would normally expect these input costs to filter through to prices eventually, but the big question is how far fierce competition in the industry will insulate consumers from price increases. If retailers do continue to absorb these costs it’ll be more important than ever that other external costs, business rates chief among them, are brought under control.”

Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight at Nielsen, added: “Non-food prices also continue to fall, and with shoppers indicating that they are becoming more cautious about spending, retailers will have to keep prices the same or probably even lower over the next six months.”

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