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Major SSD makers start price war to attack smaller producers

Posted at 26 April 2012 14:04 CET by Seán Byrne

While the HDD market has just a few manufacturers in total, there are now a wide range of manufacturers with their own SSD products, many of which up until recently only specialised in RAM, USB flash drives and memory cards. It has come to the point where the main leading SSD producers are concerned that these smaller peers are offering inferior products, which in turn could hurt the growth of the SSD market.

With falling NAND flash chip prices, the major SSD producers now aim to trigger a price war to force the smaller producers to leave the market. Kingston, Intel, OCZ and Crucial are main ones that intend dropping their SSD prices. These companies also aim to push the industry towards SATA3 by reducing the price difference between SATA2 and SATA3 products. As consumers look to upgrade their existing SATA2 32GB/64GB SSDs to higher capacity 128GB to 256GB SSDs, the SATA3 interface is expected to give consumers another reason to upgrade, besides increased capacity.

From a quick check on several online shops, SSD prices have already fallen quite a lot recently, especially on 240GB to 256GB models. For example, on Amazon UK, the OCZ 256GB Petrol SATAIII SSD starts at £193 inc. delivery at this time of checking. On the other hand, the price gap between low and high performance models is increasing again with the prices on high end SSDs remaining pretty constant. For example, the OCZ Vertex 4 which received many Editors Choice awards in reviews is about £269 inc. delivery on Amazon, a hefty £76 premium over the Octane.

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There are 8 comments

Blown to smitherines
Posted on: 26 Apr 12 15:01
    Wouldn't the actions of the majors be considered collusion / anti-competitive, and cause all sorts of legal repercussions?

    Perhaps a better idea would be to get together to form a standardized methodology of checking/measuring these units to determine that the competitors products were inferior, rather than attempting to force them out of the market ... by predatory pricing wars ...

    Imagine if the Lucky and Goldstar companies that, in their time, quite possibly produced the worst (low quality, short life) electronics products on the planet .... had this sort of price war directed at them by sony/panasonic/philips & etc.

    We'd be without one of the largest, reputable, electronics manufacturers in the world ... LG
    MyCE Resident Commenter
    Posted on: 26 Apr 12 18:15
      I see your point, Debro. I'm glad to see that prices are coming down, and if it weeds out bad product all the better, but I do think it's collusion. If this was gas companies, then I'd be all for burning them at the stake. LOL. Go figure.
      MyCE Senior Member
      Posted on: 26 Apr 12 21:05
        I don't believe this article.

        The recent price drops of SSDs can be attributed to one thing. The Intel 330 120GB drive. This drive is £109 on Amazon.

        This drive outperforms pretty much all other current drives out - the Crucial M4s the OCZ Vertex 3.

        So when the OCZ vertex was going for twice the price OCZ were in for a slaughtering so were forced to drop prices. Nature of business.

        If anyone is trying to force out smaller manufacturers it will be solely Intel. Not some collusion between Intel/OCZ and Crucial etc.

        And I think Intels main desire with the 330 was to poach potential OCZ/Crucial customers than some small obscure SSD makers
        MyCE Resident
        Posted on: 27 Apr 12 17:53
          While I neither know nor care what their true intent is/was, I'm amused by
          the sudden dropping prices...

          as an example:

          Mushkin Enhanced Chronos MKNSSDCR120GB 2.5 Inch 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD), is going to be Newegg's "Shell Shocker Deal" at $99 from 1pm to 4pm PDT

          The Mushkin drive isn't one of the drives on my list, I'm holding out for a similar deal on the SanDisk 120gb SATA-III because of the Sandforce controller used, but prices on those have been falling too...

          MyCE Resident
          Posted on: 29 Apr 12 04:23
            War? Nah, none of these companies are going out of business any time soon over a negligable pricing war.. afterall, the capacities upon which these prices are dropping don't even amount to a hill of beans.. Call this a price war when you see 1tb, 2tb, 3tb capacities under $400, $300 and $200 (sata3 etc)...

            What would I call it?
            Crackerjack box prize rebates.. or included ceral box toy discounts..
            It will be a few years before the ssd industry puts on the adult pants and starts competing.
            MyCE Resident
            Posted on: 01 May 12 03:41
              It's just moores law...hardware gets cheaper...
              MyCE Resident
              Posted on: 03 May 12 03:02
                Originally Posted by ivid
                It's just moores law...hardware gets cheaper...
                Or supply and demand coupled with a self preservation interest in staying in business. Technology is kind of like perishable food... commoditized, yes.. but at the same time perishable if not consumed in a timely manner.
                MyCE Resident Commenter
                Posted on: 08 May 12 17:49
                  Originally Posted by Anthony1uk
                  I don't believe this article.
                  Dude, it's on the internet. How could it NOT be true?

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