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SSD market still on track despite poor ultrabook shipments

Posted: 15 Oct 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IHS? ultrabook shipment? SSD market? HDD? notebook?

According to IHS, in spite of the dull uptake of ultrabooks, the solid state drive (SSD) market is headed for sunny days. In fact, SSD shipments in H1 amounted to 12.9 million units, reaching 10.5 million in Q3 and will rise to 17.5 million units in Q4, amounting to a total of 28 million units in H2!more than double the total shipped in H1. This is down from the previous forecast of 13 million in Q3 and 20 million in Q4.

The shipment numbers cover pure stand-alone SSDs!i.e., units with no hard disc drives (HDDs) associated with them!as well as when the drives are used with HDDs as separate cache SSD entities. These numbers cover all applications for SSDs, including the enterprise segment, ultrabooks and other so-called ultrathin computers.

Figure: Global Solid State Drive (SDD) Unit Shipments (Thousands of Units)
Source: IHS iSuppli Research, October 2012.

"Intel Corp. has not matched its ambitious goals for ultrabooks with the marketing needed to propel the platforms as a desirable, affordable alternative to conventional notebooks and tablets," said Ryan Chien, analyst for memory and storage at IHS. "This has prompted IHS to lower its cache SSD shipment projection. However, pricing for SSDs has fallen well below the $1/GB threshold, making their value proposition more attractive than ever. Because of this, SSDs are finding uses in other products, helping to compensate for the shortfall in ultrabooks."

IHS is maintaining an aggressive long-term outlook for SSDs due to NAND die shrinks, increasing utilisation of TLC flash, and controllers with more advanced flash management techniques that are accelerating the cost curve.

The Q2 of the year closed with 7.1 million SSDs being shipped for $1.5 billion in revenue. And although cache SSDs undershot expectations, traditional SSDs!including those for the enterprise market!with their higher prices helped make up the revenue slack. By the second half of this decade, SSDs will be a de facto standard in non-budget notebook and desktop PCs, thanks to a mixture of lower prices, consumer education and an optimised software ecosystem.

IHS projects the SSD industry will finish 2012 with $7.5 billion in revenue and 41 million in shipments, with CAGR of 35 per cent and 69 per cent, respectively.

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