SSD prices will continue to rise thanks to high demand and 'supply chain challenges' WD says

A photo of the Samsung PMA1a SSD in the MSI Vector 17 HX gaming laptop
(Image credit: Future)

Anyone doing a bit of SSD shopping recently will likely have noticed that the deals have not been as bountiful as they once were, and prices seem to be on the rise. According to a newly-discovered letter from Western Digital to its partners, price rises for its entire flash and hard drive portfolio are set to continue to increase, due to higher than expected demand and supply chain "challenges".

The letter was originally discovered by, and seems likely to have been for the eyes of Western Digital partners only (via Tom's Hardware). However, now it's been published in the open it seems indicative of not only Western Digital's plans for price rises in the flash drive and hard disc drive sectors, but the industry as a whole.

Samsung—currently the largest supplier of flash memory in the industry—and several others have scaled back NAND production by up to 50%, and thanks to consumer demand and higher prices for drives, has since been raking in the revenue growth. Not only that, but while major companies continue to expand AI data centers at an astonishing rate, the commercial demand for storage devices has increased to match. 

What we've got here then, it seems, is some good old fashioned supply and demand economics in action. While production is low, and demand is high, much moolah is destined to be made.

What does this mean for the end consumer? Well, while SSD and HDD prices are currently on the rise, it looks like Western Digital is predicting that, in the short term at least, there's not likely to be a let up in the rising costs for the end consumer anytime soon.

While last year it was possible to buy a massive 4TB Gen 4 drive for under $200, these days those deals and ones like them are increasingly rare, although we're still finding the odd corker over on our cheap SSD deals page. And while it must be said that prices generally aren't as low at the start of the year as they are at the end, the hunt has definitely become harder, and by the looks of things that may continue for a while yet.

Peak Storage

SATA, NVMe M.2, and PCIe SSDs on blue background

(Image credit: Future)

Best SSD for gaming: The best speedy storage today.
Best NVMe SSD: Compact M.2 drives.
Best external hard drives: Huge capacities for less.
Best external SSDs: Plug-in storage upgrades.

As to how long this current situation is sustainable for, that's anyone's guess as things currently stand. The CEO of Phison, K.S. Pua, has warned of the reduced demand these higher prices may eventually bring, with the potential for bankruptcies among suppliers if the current situation remains, especially if a global economic downturn were to force the industry's hand.

However, it looks like we're all in for a rough ride when it comes to storage pricing for the foreseeable future. Those of you who stocked up on storage last year played the game very well, but for those of us looking to buy in the near future, for now, it looks like we're going to have to open our wallets ever wider. 

Andy Edser
Hardware Writer

Andy built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 12, when IDE cables were a thing and high resolution wasn't. After spending over 15 years in the production industry overseeing a variety of live and recorded projects, he started writing his own PC hardware blog for a year in the hope that people might send him things. Sometimes they did.

Now working as a hardware writer for PC Gamer, Andy can be found quietly muttering to himself and drawing diagrams with his hands in thin air. It's best to leave him to it.