This sector is really peculiar, since it must be taken into account that some devices are being replaced by faster ones (HDD vs SSD), but at the same time the former are necessary due to their greater capacity when the latter are soaring in price or not. they offer the TB we require. SSDs are being dragged down by NAND Flash contracts and status, but what about HDDs?
The rise in the price of hard drives: a new drama
If the price of SSDs has been rising and reports, although contradictory in many cases, could indicate that they remain at the same point, why are not more HDDs being sold and with it their price should fall?
Well, because SSDs in recent years have radically won the game. The latest figures that are handled affirm that shipments of hard drives have gone from a quarterly average of 160 and 180 million in 2011 just 67.6 million in 2021 for this last quarter. The figures already speak for themselves and show the reasons for the price reduction experienced at the end of 2018 in solid state drives, but then, is this the reason why HDDs increase their price?
No, this is only part of the whole pie and perhaps the least important, since HDD companies also make SSDs and are offsetting profits against losses and even making money in many cases. The problem comes from a topic that we have already dealt with and we follow almost weekly.
Chip and memory shortage, symptom or false alarm?
In servers it is difficult for SSDs as such to replace HDDs, unless in a few years they achieve an astonishing increase in capacity that matches them. But on PC … it’s another story. Here the HDD will face a similar path to its rival and will increase in price due to two determining factors: supply / demand and the shortage of chips, where the latter involves a very key component.
The mining of Chía as a cryptocurrency and the new servers that are about to reach large data centers by Intel and AMD have made companies and miners start to stockpile HDD in a larger volume. Demand has increased a lot, supply is still tight due to a shortage of semiconductors and this is where memory comes in, specifically DDR3.
And this memory is in a production de-escalation phase, but it is currently used as a cache in many HDDs. This means that the increase in demand crossed with the reduction in production has achieved a doubling of the DDR3 price and this is driving the price of HDDs currently by a 5%, which will be translated shortly in stores and retailers.
As there are no expectations of solving any of the problems mentioned, it is more than likely that the situation will continue or get worse, so we will have to be attentive to this chessboard and how its pieces move.