Good news for consumers: prices for DRAM memory and NAND flash chips will start falling in the fourth quarter “ending nine straight quarters of growth”, and that downward trend will continue throughout 2019 according to DRAMeXchange. Their data shows that average DRAM price will drop by 15~20% YoY in 2019 due to several reasons.
Smartphones won’t see remarkable shipments next year, for example, but there is also uncertainty in server shipments and the shortage of Intel CPUs could affect notebook and PC shipments. DRAM manufacturers expect a high possibility of oversupply, and DRAM expects the annual bit output to increase by nearly 22%, with the 1X/1Y processes going mature and the wafer starts increasing.
The trend will also affect NAND flash chips, which dropped 10% in price in the third quarter and are expected to fall another 10-15% in the fourth quarter. In 2019 the price decline will be around 25-30% due to increased 3D NAND production capacity, specially since enterprise SSD suppliers will fiercely compete next year. DRAMeXchange mentions the impact of China-US trade war, and alert about the gap between the supply and demand, that “may be moderated if the NAND Flash manufacturers postpone their capacity expansion and transition to 96-layer 3D NAND devices”.