Feeds

Flash price plunge heralds cheaper MP3 players?

NAND falls as DRAM rallies

High performance access to file storage

iPods and other MP3 players look set to become much cheaper thanks to a dramatic decline in the price of NAND Flash chips. According to memory industry watcher DRAMeXchange, NAND Flash prices on the spot market have fallen by more than 50 per cent since the start of 2006. It said 2GBb and 4Gb NAND Flash chip prices fell by 63 per cent on average. Other parts saw their prices drop by at least 43 per cent.

Ironically, it's a fall in end-user demand for low-end music players that has pulled the rug from under the NAND Flash market. Good sales in the run-up to Christmas - some iPod models sold out, for example - have been followed by an expected post-holiday decline, though the extent of the fall appears to have taken NAND Flash makers by surprise. Certainly, their customers are spending less, and they, in turn, have been forced to cut prices to stimulate demand.

Indeed, Apple cut the prices of its Flash-based iPod Shuffles in February when it released the 1GB iPod Nano. Even if further cuts fail to make it to market, canny manufacturers may well choose to stock up on cheaper Flash in preparation for future player demand. If everyone does it, of course, the price will remain depressed and they'll get no advantage.

According to market watcher iSuppli, NAND Flash and DRAM sales will total $40.2bn this year, up 12.9 per cent on 2005's total, $35.6bn. However, while the company expected NAND Flash sales to rise 49 per cent this year, it's now forecasting growth of just 28 per cent.

Its apparent pessimism is shared by DRAMeXchange, which said it doesn't expect NAND Flash prices to rebound until after Q2 - it's pegging its hopes of a change on the sudden emergence of a "killer application". One such could be the Flash-based hard drive Samsung is pitching, or Intel's scheme to use Flash to boost PC boot times.

In contrast, DRAM prices have risen through the first few months of the year, though the upward slope leveled off this month, iSuppli noted. It said worldwide DRAM revenue will rise to $26.4bn this year, up 6.2 per cent from $24.8bn in 2005 instead of the five per cent decline the company previously forecast. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
WTF happened to Pac-Man?
In his thirties and still afraid of ghosts
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Happy 25th birthday, Game Boy!
Monochrome handset ushered in modern mobile gaming era
Leaked photos may indicate slimmer next-generation iPad
Will iPad Air evolve into iPad Helium?
True optical zoom coming to HTC smartphone cameras
Time to ditch that heavy DSLR? Maybe in a year, year and a half
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.