Strange, in recent weeks in the UK it seems like SSD prices have
been rising. For example, the Samsung 830 256GB dropped as low as
130 UKP, but now it's typically more like 150 to 160. Likewise,
similar 'quality' SSDs (Vertex4, that sort of thing) all appear to
have risen a bit, while what had been a steady decline in 60/64GB
and 120/128GB prices last autumn has ground to a halt or reversed.
I wonder, are companies not bothering to drop prices at the moment
because they simply don't need to? ie. the demand is there to soak
up products at current prices.
I also notice that supplies of older products dry up suspiciously
fast when newer models come out. I want to buy a couple of 830 256s,
they're more than enough for me, yet in just the space of barely a
month since the 840 launch it appears numerous sites now list the
830 as "discontinued", or just no longer in stock with no expected
restock date, or the price has gone way up to 175+.
I tried looking at 64/64GB models this week. Some sites suddenly
have very few available, or a narrow brand choice, and the prices
are barely any less than 120/128 models, eg. 62 UKP for a 64GB vs.
80 UKP for the 128GB quivalent - very silly.
To me this smells like the beginning of the proverbial supply &
demand effect kicking in as regards pricing, a bit like the way
normal HDD makers have reliased they don't need to sell 1TB disks
as cheap as they did before the Thai floods (I remember getting
some for only 36 each at one point). If this is indeed the year of
a huge surge in demand for SSDs, then we may not see that much of
a move on pricing in absolute terms at all. Either that or, as new
models come out, they will simply replace older models at the same
price points while stocks of older models quickly vanish via
controlled supply, instead of one at least being able to buy older
models for less for a while.
I've done a lot of SSD price hunting this past week. It really does
feel quite different to what was happening to prices about 3 or 4
months ago. Many sites just have a whole list of products which are
not in stock, or with weird/inconsistent pricing (or both).
Anyone notice this elsewhere? Or is it just the UK?
A good example of how annoying this can be is when considering an
SSD upgrade for an older system that just has SATA2. My own tests
show that newer SATA3 models offer little extra in performance (for
obvious reasons) than older models which are perhaps more optimised
for SATA2 links. Thus, for example, upgrading my gf's PC, I've been
looking for a 120GB Vertex2E as it works nicely on SATA2 systems,
but it's either not available now, or the prices are crazy, eg. on
one site the V2E 120GB is 75, vs. just 80 for a Samsung 840. Surely
the V2E should be much less by now. One may as well buy a Sandisk
Extreme or Agility3 (I'd rather not; I like the V2Es). By contrast,
just a few weeks ago I was able to buy some V2E 120s for 52 each, a
price which seems a lot more logical given the current product range.
I was hoping good model 240/256GB prices would drop below 100 UKP
before the Spring, but if demand is indeed going up a lot then I
can't see that happening. Pity.
My price searches typically cover about 30+ different UK suppliers,
and not just the most well known such as Scan, Aria, DABS, etc. Others
include (ie. sites I trust, in no particular order) Ballicom, techdna,
trustedhardware, Microdirect, tekheads, lambdatek, novatech (the source
of my V2E/120 splash a while ago), ebuyer (source of the 830 256s when
they'd dropped to 130 UKP), Amazon (source for some V2E 120 MAX IOPS
when they dropped to only 80 each), overclock.co.uk, technextday,
ikatek, CCL, Eclipse, Redstore, etc. NB: make good use of Google if you
find a company you've not heard of before; check trustpilot, webutation,
and other sites that have meta-info & reviews about online shopping
sites (search for the web site name with words such as 'review',
'rating', 'scam', 'trusted', etc.)