Western Digital has revealed that it has lost at least 6.5 exabytes (approximately 6.5 billion gigabytes) of NAND flash storage chips due to contamination at its NAND production facilities, which may affect the PC market over the next few months and lead to an increase in SSD prices.
The contamination of materials used in the manufacturing processes were detected in late January at two plants in Japan, which are joint ventures with Kioxia. It bears mentioning that combined WDC/Kioxia NAND Flash market share in Q3 2021 was as high as 32.5%
According to a report by TrendForce, the PC market may witness a 5-10% hike in the prices of SSDs over the next few months as the damage accounts for 13% of the group’s total output in Q1 2022 and approximately 3% of the total output for the whole year.
However, the report states that prices of NAND Flash SSD storage devices may witness a decline during Q1 2022 as there is still an oversupply of product in the market, but a price hike will be witness over the next few months starting Q2 2022.
The report adds that “damages announced by WDC likely do not account for total losses stemming for this event and the number of damaged Kioxia parts has not been aggregated, so the total number of affected bits may increase further.”
Either way, if you were thinking of getting an SSD, now would be a good time to start shopping before the prices of NAND Flash SDDs witness the impact of the huge loss at the joint production facilities of Western Digital / Kioxia.