Apple iPad success could increase solid state drive prices

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Apple already consumes nearly one-third of total global NAND flash memory, and with its share expected to grow even more with the launch of the iPad, hard drive makers believe it could delay the transition to solid state drives in traditional PCs.



Industry sources who spoke with DigiTimes indicated that the iPad is a "significant market for flash memory in 2010," meaning that memory supplies will likely be tight again throughout the year. Multiple times in 2009 it was noted that Apple had created a flash shortage, with its iPod and iPhone line of products consuming the largest share of NAND flash.



The constant constraints have kept memory costs high for other PC makers, and also kept solid state drives, long expected to eventually replace traditional hard disk drives, at a high price. But with the iPad likely to take a large chunk of memory supplies, available in capacities up to 64GB, the matter is unlikely to change in 2010, the report noted.



"Though major chip vendors have ramped production using 30nm-class or even sub-30nm processes, NAND flash prices are still on the rise for 2010, according to the sources," the report said.



The NAND flash industry intends to transition to a 20nm manufacturing process in the second-half of 2011, which will drastically reduce prices on memory.



In early 2008, Apple embraced the solid state drive by offering it as an option in its MacBook Air, with a premium price. Solid state drives, compared to their hard disk drive counterparts, are more expensive and offer less storage.



But SSDs can also be much faster than HDDs, and lack the moving parts that can make HDDs prone to failure, particularly in mobile devices that experience a great deal of movement.







Currently, the $1,499 1.86GHz MacBook Air has a 120GB SATA HDD, while the $1,799 2.13GHz configuration comes with a 128GB SSD. Adding a 128GB SSD to a 13-inch MacBook Pro costs $350, while a 256GB upgrade -- adding just 6GB more than the standard HDD -- costs $800.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 49
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,077member
    Waaah. I heard the iPad might drive up the price of anal lube, too. What WON'T it affect?
  • Reply 2 of 49
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,054member
    Mass production always brings prices down, in the short term prices probably will go up, but in the long term prices are gonna drop big time!



    Thanks Apple for buying enough drives to start dragging the pc industry into SSD mainstream!
  • Reply 3 of 49
    patspats Posts: 112member
    I guess that sucks for the PC makers. The price per GB for NAND is on a similar price curve as for RAM which is a more mature process. Capacities double about every 18mo and prices per GB goes down about 40% per year. The choice to include in a PC is all about cost.
  • Reply 4 of 49
    cu10cu10 Posts: 294member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by saarek View Post


    Mass production always brings prices down, in the short term prices probably will go up, but in the long term prices are gonna drop big time!...



    Exactly, sooner than later I hope.



    SSD is the next big thing. Memory architecture will change eventually too I hope, integrating SSD as RAM rather than storage space. Spinning disks will still have their place with their massive capacities.
  • Reply 5 of 49
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    AppleInsider Quote



    "In early 2008, Apple embraced the solid state drive by offering it as an option in its MacBook Air, with a premium price. Solid state drives, compared to their hard disk drive counterparts, are more expensive and offer less storage.



    But SSDs can also be much faster than HDDs, and lack the moving parts that can make HDDs prone to failure, particularly in mobile devices that experience a great deal of movement.



    Currently, the $1,499 1.86GHz MacBook Air has a 120GB SATA HDD, while the $1,799 2.13GHz configuration comes with a 128GB SSD. Adding a 128GB SSD to a 13-inch MacBook Pro costs $350, while a 256GB upgrade -- adding just 6GB more than the standard HDD -- costs $800."






    Bought a 17" MBP with a 256 GB SSD this past year and the SSD is really, really fast, quiet and seems to run cooler than the HDD MBP.



    Hope that the next SL upgrade will address some of the inherent problems with SSDs regarding speed degradation over time. Haven't noticed any loss in speed in my SSD, but then have less than half full. From what I've been able to find from researching, is that there should be TRIM command support in the OS. Windows 7 is suppose to have a TRIM command, not sure if Linus has it.



    I thought that the price for the SSD option for the MBP had dropped from late last year--did it go up again due to shortages?
  • Reply 6 of 49
    That's good news...I hope Apple updates the MBA with a one-click glass track pad and the raccoon trim around the screen. Then expands the MBA product line to include a 15" and 17" SSD versions.



    I think this would accelerate the trend to get away from having the SuperDrive in every laptop.



    Another feature of the SSD is the 'instant-on.'



    Best
  • Reply 7 of 49
    icyfogicyfog Posts: 338member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by saarek View Post


    Mass production always brings prices down, in the short term prices probably will go up, but in the long term prices are gonna drop big time!



    That's what I would think too.
  • Reply 8 of 49
    woohoo!woohoo! Posts: 291member
    Screw SSD, it's already obsolete that's why it's so expensive. What about SDXC?



    It's supposed to have up to 2TB and access speeds twice as fast as hard drives, all on a little SD card. Made for the HD video cameras to come.



    It's the introduction of this type of remove able storage that prompted Apple to start putting SD ports on Mac's. (it can access the storage, but currently not the speed)





    I think Apple would be jumping all over SDXC because it's such a thin and sexy storage medium.



    2TB on a iPhone makes a whole lot of room for apps and anything else.
  • Reply 9 of 49
    emulatoremulator Posts: 251member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Currently, the $1,499 1.86GHz MacBook Air has a 120GB SATA HDD, while the $1,799 2.13GHz configuration comes with a 128GB SSD. Adding a 128GB SSD to a 13-inch MacBook Pro costs $350, while a 256GB upgrade -- adding just 6GB more than the standard HDD -- costs $800.



    You can get OCZ Agility 120GB with rebate and BCB for around $130, only idiots go that route above...
  • Reply 10 of 49
    jbfromozjbfromoz Posts: 91member
    ssd isnt the same as a HD, there is a limited number of write cycles to each part of the device, until drive management routines change their method of using these devices, there will be other issues brought about that hard drives dont face. its not a free lunch
  • Reply 11 of 49
    msnlymsnly Posts: 378member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Woohoo! View Post


    Screw SSD, it's already obsolete that's why it's so expensive. What about SDXC?



    Because it's even newer and more expensive and it doesn't come in sizes much lager than 32GB yet, nowhere near 2TB.
  • Reply 12 of 49
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Wow! one company taking 1/3 of all the NAND... and growing. I wouldn't be surprised by Apple taking the most but when I consider the number of devices in the world that use NAND it seems very high to me.



    I hope the manufactures can ahead of the NAND shortage. With another die shrink and 3-bit storage happing this year that is a potential 2.25x increase, apparently at about the same production over last year. Of course, that is for NAND, not specifically SSDs which will take longer to come to market with these technologies in place at an adequate performance and reliability level.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post


    Bought a 17" MBP with a 256 GB SSD this past year and the SSD is really, really fast, quiet and seems to run cooler than the HDD MBP.



    Hope that the next SL upgrade will address some of the inherent problems with SSDs regarding speed degradation over time. Haven't noticed any loss in speed in my SSD, but then have less than half full. From what I've been able to find from researching, is that there should be TRIM command support in the OS. Windows 7 is suppose to have a TRIM command, not sure if Linus has it.



    I thought that the price for the SSD option for the MBP had dropped from late last year--did it go up again due to shortages?



    Hopefully the next round of MBPs offers 1) A fix to the SATA controller so any 3rd-party drive will work, 2) SATA III (6Gbps), 3) a wider range of SSDs from the Apple Store, hopefully Intel drives now that they are adequately green, and 4) TRIM.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Woohoo! View Post


    Screw SSD, it's already obsolete that's why it's so expensive. What about SDXC?



    :sigh: Seriously, WTH!
  • Reply 13 of 49
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JBFromOZ View Post


    ssd isnt the same as a HD, there is a limited number of write cycles to each part of the device, until drive management routines change their method of using these devices, there will be other issues brought about that hard drives dont face. its not a free lunch



    I agree wih you... \
  • Reply 14 of 49
    ksecksec Posts: 1,500member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Woohoo! View Post


    Screw SSD, it's already obsolete that's why it's so expensive. What about SDXC?



    It's supposed to have up to 2TB and access speeds twice as fast as hard drives, all on a little SD card. Made for the HD video cameras to come.



    It's the introduction of this type of remove able storage that prompted Apple to start putting SD ports on Mac's. (it can access the storage, but currently not the speed)





    I think Apple would be jumping all over SDXC because it's such a thin and sexy storage medium.



    2TB on a iPhone makes a whole lot of room for apps and anything else.



    1. SDXC requires exFAT. Which is an Microsoft proprietary format. exFAT also lacks many features that current HFS+ has and required by Snow Leopard.



    2. SDXC wont have the high I/O / Random RW performance that current SSD has.
  • Reply 15 of 49
    woohoo!woohoo! Posts: 291member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MsNly View Post


    Because it's even newer and more expensive and it doesn't come in sizes much larger than 32GB yet, nowhere near 2TB.





    It's starting to trickle out. If Apple could lock in a volume price on larger capacity SDXC's and get the economies of scale working they sure could make a heck of a radical product line in the next few years.



    http://www.cnet.com/8301-13951_1-10457197-63.html





    With a spring loaded flush mounted SD slot, people could remove their 2TB of storage from nearly any device Apple makes.
  • Reply 16 of 49
    ksecksec Posts: 1,500member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ksec View Post


    1. SDXC requires exFAT. Which is an Microsoft proprietary format. exFAT also lacks many features that current HFS+ has and required by Snow Leopard.



    2. SDXC wont have the high I/O / Random RW performance that current SSD has.



    Which prove why SSD wont overtake HDD in another 5 years, even if it is cheap enough there are simply not enough Fabs capacity to do so.
  • Reply 17 of 49
    allblueallblue Posts: 393member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Woohoo! View Post


    Screw SSD, it's already obsolete that's why it's so expensive. What about SDXC?



    You are being a tad premature with the word 'obsolete', but this area of tech does offer some intriguing possibilities ten years down the line. The computer of today could become a passive generic device, while you carry around everything that matters (OS, apps, files) in your wallet! Wherever you go you just pop the card in (or more likely connect wirelessly) for your full computing use. Rather like a VCR sitting there doing nothing until you put a tape in.



    I wonder if Apple's 'thinking big' includes R&D in this area?
  • Reply 18 of 49
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Some of the issues and solutions regarding SSDs' degradation and slowdowns are answered in the following



    Regarding TRIM commands:



    http://www.anandtech.com/storage/sho...px?i=3531&p=10



    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=744885



    SSD Slow Down



    http://www.computerworld.com/s/artic...wn_inevitable_



    Reconditioning SSD



    http://macperformanceguide.com/Stora...ditioning.html



    Raid SSD



    http://macperformanceguide.com/Revie...y_Extreme.html



    Still think that SSDs are the future--just need larger capacities and lower /GB price. Look for 128 GB iPod Touch and iPad before the end of the year or early next year. Toshiba has recently come out with a 64GB NAND chip.



    The new OWC Mercury Extreme SSD looks awesome.



    Review



    http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3751
  • Reply 19 of 49
    woohoo!woohoo! Posts: 291member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ksec View Post


    1. SDXC requires exFAT. Which is an Microsoft proprietary format. exFAT also lacks many features that current HFS+ has and required by Snow Leopard.



    2. SDXC wont have the high I/O / Random RW performance that current SSD has.





    1: Apple would make their own version of exHFS+ naturally.



    2: With Apple putting out 1GHz iPads, it's not like it's a speed demon like a Mac Pro is. It seems Apple is more inclined now to produce ultra thin devices that have little need for elaborate cooling and have a long battery life. Shift any performance needs to the "cloud" or desktops.





    What hobbles SSD is the price and storage size, really what's the use having a iPad or iPod Touch with only a mere 64GB? My music library alone is more than that.



    The industry knows SSD's are doomed to early death, it's just a matter of time before the SDXC cranks up the production, lowers the price, increases the storage and floods the market, so they are milking their camel for all it's worth and we consumer gets stuck with flaky bulky noisy hard drives for our +64GB storage needs.



    Solder that 2TB SDXC right to the logic board along with the battery, that's Apple's type thinking.



    People will see, come a few years from now, why they even bothered to buy devices with pitiful 64GB storage capacities, it's a joke.
  • Reply 20 of 49
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post






    Hopefully the next round of MBPs offers 1) A fix to the SATA controller so any 3rd-party drive will work, 2) SATA III (6Gbps), 3) a wider range of SSDs from the Apple Store, hopefully Intel drives now that they are adequately green.







    :sigh: Seriously, WTH!



    I hope that the first is true.



    Agreed on your response to the second quote.
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