HDDs over-priced thanks to Thai floods

HDD prices are now too high as SSD costs continue to fall

Analysts at the price comparison website Idealo claim that HDD prices are now too high as rival SSD prices continue to fall.

What seems to have happened is that the channel increased the price of HDDs in response to the shortages of the Thai flood, however they did not reduce them as supply levels improved.

Meanwhile SSDs, which were not harmed by the floods, have seen their prices fall as more drives are manufactured.

The average price of the most popular HDDs increased by 70 percent from the third quarter to the fourth quarter of 2011. While the prices of hard drives have decreased in each of the last three quarters, the average prices still remain 47 percent higher than the pre-Thai-flood prices.

According to market analyst Fang Zahng from IHS iSuppli, HDD prices were being kept high due to an increased pricing power among the top manufacturers.

More than 93 percent of all hard drive products are manufactured by either Western Digital, Hitachi, Seagate or Samsung which have been involved in the recent hard drive mega-mergers. With less competition there is less need to reduce prices to stay in the market.

Meanwhile the average prices of Idealo’s most popular solid-state-drives have decreased for the last six quarters. In 2012, SSD prices have decreased 24 per cent with the average per-GB price 30 cents less than in the 4th quarter of 2011.

The reduction can be seen the most in the price of larger capacity drives. The average per-GB price of SSDs with storage capacities between 160-256GB have nearly broken the €1/GB barrier.

Unlike the HDD industry, the SSD industry has more manufacturers and is much more competitive.

However, SSDs are still more expensive than HHDs. The per-GB price of the largest capacity SSDs, which are between 300 and 600GB are currently nine times more expensive than 500GB notebook hard-disk-drives, the Idealo study notes.

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