Feeds

Flash price plunge heralds cheaper MP3 players?

NAND falls as DRAM rallies

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.