Feeds

Flash price plunge heralds cheaper MP3 players?

NAND falls as DRAM rallies

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Website security in corporate America

More from The Register

next story
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Your chance to WIN the WORLD'S ONLY HANDHELD ZX SPECTRUM
Reg staff not allowed to enter, god dammit
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Monitors monitor's monitoring finds touch screens have 0.4% market share
Not four. Point four. Count yer booty again, Microsoft
Getting to the BOTTOM of the great office seating debate
Belay that toil, me hearty, and park your scurvy backside
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.