Micron Technology, a major supplier of NAND flash, reported their first fiscal quarter earnings Wednesday evening. While the results were somewhat inconsistent and below analysts’ expectations (DRAM sales are slow), the word of the day when it comes to flash memory is “growth”!
In the first quarter, Micron saw an approximately six percent increase in NAND sales. In addition, Micron has stated that even now, it’s actually seeing an increased demand for consumer SSDs.
This is in contrast to Intel’s statement that SSD sales have been largely stagnant since the HDD shortage began. Micron also mentioned growth in enterprise SSD sales, though this makes up a much smaller portion of their total solid state pie. The general trend is very encouraging, to say the least. Though Micron is only one of several companies that make up the flash industry, it’s fully expected that most major suppliers of flash memory will begin to see significant increases in NAND output as 2012 rolls on.
This is, of course, to be expected as proliferation of SSDs begins to increase in order to pick up the slack left by the magnetic storage industry, which is still reeling from the assault by mother nature. It’s also reasonable to expect that computer manufacturers will abandon mechanical drives in favor of SSDs, with systems seeing only a nominal increase in price, or none at all, forcing overall SSD costs even lower.
Indeed, Micron’s announcement simply confirms what many have been predicting for quite some time now. That’s perfectly fine, however, as most buyers would like nothing more than to see a perpetual fall in SSD prices, myself included. This is an example of supply and demand at it’s best. If the pattern proves to be a continual phenomenon, we may have a situation in which relatively cheap and exceedingly fast drives are being purchased by a lot of extraordinarily happy customers. Just writing that puts a smile on my face.
See press release on next page….