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Building a new PC? You might want to wait a few years. According to industry analysts Gartner, the price of memory will crash by 2019.
Today, the price of PCs, smartphones, and tablets continues to rise. The industry blames shortages in components: DRAM, flash, batteries, and displays are all more expensive at the moment.
Gartner predicts that the price of memory and NAND flash (used in SSDs) will start to decline in 2018 before totally crashing in 2019.
This could lead to major price drops on PCs and mobile devices. However, Gartner cautioned that it was too early to predict the exact impact of the crash on PC and mobile device prices. With pre-made devices like PCs and smartphones, manufacturers may choose to pocket the savings from cheaper components instead of passing them to consumers.
Nevertheless, PC and mobile device prices have trended downward for the last decade. Companies may choose to go the Apple route – where they opt for higher profits instead of passing savings onto consumers. Or, they could lower prices to entice consumers.
PC DRAM Pricing Has Doubled Since 2016
Consumers need a price drop on storage now more than ever. Since the middle of 2016, PC DRAM pricing has doubled, according to Gartner’s research.
In the middle of 2016, 4GB of PC DRAM was priced at $12.50. Today, it’s priced at $25 (all prices in USD). SSD prices per gigabyte have also increased at an alarming rate.
Why Has Pricing Increased?
Pricing has increased for a number of different reasons. Essentially, there’s been a greater demand for DRAM and NAND flash without a similar increase in supply:
- Apple started the trend by adding more memory and storage to Macs, iPhones, and iPads
- Manufacturers like Samsung followed suit; the upcoming Galaxy S8 will have 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM, which is nearly the same amount as thin laptops
- Virtual reality has also increased demand, as VR gaming and videos require more storage and RAM
- The final factor is a stable PC market, with steady demand for high-end storage options among both business, home, and gaming users
These factors aren’t going to change by 2019. However, Gartner predicts that by 2019, “the market will be flooded with DRAM and NAND flash, and prices will plummet”. This follows industry cycles of the last few years – like when DRAM prices plunged in 2011.
Anyways, you might want to hold off on that new laptop or tablet purchase for a couple years. It could save you an enormous amount of money.