FAQsNAND Flash and price change

What is NAND flash?

"NAND flash" is the memory chip used in USB flash drives and many electrical items such as smartphones and Apple iPods. NAND flash memory chips are manufactured by just a few hi-tech giants like Hynix, Samsung, KIOXIA*, Sandisk, Micron & Intel in a variety of capacities and levels of performance.

Why do NAND flash price change?

The price of NAND flash memory changes daily in accordance with the laws of supply and demand just as commodities such as coffee and gold. From the supply side Hynix, Samsung, KIOXIA*, Sandisk, Micron & Intel exercise production controls to ensure the global market is neither oversupplied or suffering significant shortage. From the demand side, well known companies such as Apple, Sony and Nokia have the ability to influence NAND flash prices too according to their powerful demand.

The price of Flashbay USB flash drives fluctuates according to the NAND flash prices, because the NAND flash chip is the most significant component in a USB Flash drive from a cost perspective.

NAND flash memory comes in many different memory capacities which fluctuate in price independently. Using our own data, we have compiled a real-time graph showing how NAND flash price of different capacities have changed over time:

Nand flash price trend for common capacities over time

(For the more technical reader, this graph is compiled using Multi Level Cell (MLC) Grade A NAND flash prices from the global spot market, taking the daily low from the trading session)

But I thought the price trend of Memory was always downwards?

The long term trend (e.g over a year) for NAND flash prices is downwards, as with all type of computer memory, but over a shorter time period prices can go strongly upwards as well as down as you can see from the graph above.

In the 3rd and early 4th quarters of the year, NAND flash price are often increasing as the worldwide production volumes of phones, Mp3 players and other electrical items also increase in preparation for Christmas consumer demand. The larger memory capacities such as those above 32GB tend to be more volatile than the smaller capacities such as 4GB and 8GB.

Will the price decrease soon?

As NAND flash is a traded commodity it is hard to precisely predict how the price will change in immediate future.

*Toshiba Memory was rebranded to Kioxia on Oct. 1, 2019.