Who Will Benefit from an SSD Price War?

Leading manufacturers of solid-state drives are slashing prices in an effort to start a price war aimed at squashing smaller competition and improving the market, Digitimes reported. The lower price tags also reflect shrinking NAND flash chip prices.

Many retailers that normally sell commodity memory products, such as memory cards and flash drives, have recently started to sell SSDs. Some major SSD companies, worried that inferior products could hinder development of the market, have begun lowering prices in an attempt to force the smaller producers out of the game, said the report, citing industry sources in Taiwan. Companies idenitifed as having initiated price-cutting measures include Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Kingston Technology, OCZ (NASDAQ:OCZ), and Crucial.

SSD vendors are also hoping to lessen the price gap between SATA2 and SATA3 SSDs in order to expedite the industry’s transition to the new, faster SATA3 interface. SATA3 SSDs now cost only about $10 more than SATA2 units. SATA3 availability is expected to drive demand for SSDs this year. Switching to SATA3 should boost the mainstream capacity from the current 32GB and 64GB to 128GB and 256GB.

As CNET’s Topher Kessler noted in a recent blog post, an impending price war bodes well for users. Lower prices on SSDs will make it possible for users to upgrade their systems at an affordable price.