We noted back in February that PC memory prices had finally become cheap again, so you could shop for the best RAM for gaming without having to sell a kidney. As it turns out, the price drops we have seen this year may have only been the tip of the iceberg. Multiple analysts are predicting further declines, none more so than Gartner.
According to Gartner, memory makers are inundated with unsold inventory, which will "push pricing down 42.1 percent in the 2019." That would be a gigantic drop. Even better for consumers (and worse for memory makers), Gartner predicts that the oversupply situation will extend into the second quarter of 2020.
"The semiconductor market is being impacted by a number of factors. A weaker pricing environment for memory and some other chips types combined with the U.S.-China trade dispute and lower growth in major applications, including smartphones, servers and PCs, is driving the global semiconductor market to its lowest growth since 2009," said Ben Lee, senior principal research analyst at Gartner.
Gartner is not alone in its assessment of the market. IC Insights recently published a report in which it forecasts both a drop in semiconductor sales this year, and a steep decline in the average selling price of memory chips.
From a consumer standpoint, even cheaper memory sounds great. However, forecasts are a fickle thing. Remember when tablets were supposed to kill the PC market? Analysts would like to take a mulligan on that one.
Incidentally, DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce, notes that memory pricing could actually see an uptick in the short term, due to a combination of a power outage at a Toshiba factory last month, and trade tensions between Japan and South Korea.
A bump in pricing is not expected to linger, though. DRAMeXchange says DRAM suppliers are "generally sitting at over 3 months' worth of inventories," which will continue to push prices down through the end of the year.
We'll have to wait and see how things actually pan out. If the price drops do come to fruition, however, we could be seeing some dirt cheap RAM kits in the very near future, particularly with Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales just a few months away.