Solid-state drives (SSDs) are increasing in speed and functionality, but still have been a hard sell to consumers. An underlying issue involving component supplies could prove to be the biggest hurdle, not the higher retail price SSDs currently garner.
Despite offering smaller sizes, less moving parts, and significantly better power consumption, the higher price tags continue to frustrate consumers. It’s possible to find a great selection of 500GB HDDs for $75 or less, with a 500GB SSD blowing out of that price range at $2,000+.
Some custom drives include ultra shock proof and custom enclosures that are able to withstand different temperatures and environments.
It’s true that SSD prices are dropping, but there are other problems that are often overlooked. Specifically, storage maker Seagate noted that a shrinking amount of NAND flash will prevent wider tech adoption in the consumer market. Researchers believe the demand for storage in 2011 will increase up to 95 exabytes (95 billion gigabytes) from 69 exabytes in 2010.
Only 11 exabytes of NAND memory was manufactured in 2010, with a focus on providing supplies for MP3 players, smartphones, and other consumer products.
SSDs have picked up sales in the enterprise storage sector, but consumers are still holding off on the pricey technology. Even if consumers sales remain slow in 2011 and the next couple of years, Seagate, Intel, Samsung, Micron, and other companies working in the enterprise storage market should see strong success.
If Seagate’s idea behind NAND flash shortages pans out as more flash-based products are released, then SSD manufacturers will have to fight for whatever supplies they can get their hands on. SSD is expected to continue to grow in 2011 and over the next few years, but pricing, supply shortages, and other problems might significantly hamper it’s success in the consumer PC market.
You can read Seagate’s full report here (PDF).