NAND flash market halts year-long decline at last with Q3 revenue increase, Q4 expected to see 20% increase in revenue — goodbye cheap SSDs

(Image credit: Kingston)

After over a year of back-to-back declines in revenue, NAND flash is finally seeing a sustained increase in cashflow, according to a report from Trendforce. Revenue for NAND chips rose 3% in Q3, and there is an expected 20% rise in revenue for Q4. This is largely thanks to massive production cuts and increased demand, which combined have had a significant effect on revenue.

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NAND Flash Industry Revenue
Header Cell - Column 0 Q3 RevenueQuarter-over-Quarter Difference
Samsung$2.9 million0%
SK hynix and Solidigm$1.86 million11.9%
Western Digital$1.56 million13%
Kioxia$1.34 million-8.6%
Micron$1.2 million-5.2%
Others$0.42 million19.3%
Total$9.23 billion2.9%

Of the five largest NAND flash producers, only SK hynix (which includes Solidigm) and Western Digital posted any quarterly gains at 11.9% and 13% respectively. Meanwhile, Samsung's revenue was flat and both Kioxia and Micron were down with losses of 8.6% and 5.2% compared to last quarter. Thanks to SK hynix and Western Digital (as well as smaller manufacturers), the overall revenue for Q3 was 2.9% higher than in Q2.

Although Q3's increase of 2.9% was lower than the 7.4% bump seen in Q2, things aren't slowing down, according to Trendforce. Q4 is anticipated to post at least a 20% boost in revenue, thanks to production cuts at Samsung and increased demand in the PC and smartphone sectors.

This isn't all that surprising since NAND chip prices have increased since July, regardless of the reasons. However, October and November in particular have seen significantly higher prices, and those months are in Q4. 20% almost seems conservative considering the price for 512GB TLC chips has risen almost 52% since September, the last month of Q3.

While this is good news for the NAND industry, which feared the incredibly low prices for flash chips might cause bankruptcies, it's not great for consumers. SSD prices have already started to increase in the past month or so, and they seem likely to continue getting even more expensive.

Matthew Connatser

Matthew Connatser is a freelancing writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes articles about CPUs, GPUs, SSDs, and computers in general.