Consumer solid-state drives will start going mainstream in 2012 due to falling prices, which will make the smaller, faster and more power-efficient drives the primary storage option for most users.
The average selling price of NAND flash is expected to decline by 30 percent this year, and by another 36 percent from 2011 to 2012. Gartner said in a report that prices of mainstream PC SSDs will likely reach US$1 per gigabyte by the second half of 2012, which will make it a viable option for consumers.
SSDs were introduced to the enterprise market last year, but high prices have kept consumers from considering them for personal use. High-end notebooks such as the thinner and lighter MacBook Air and Dell’s Vostro V130 now come with SSDs, and more PC makers are offering them as an alternative to hard drives at a premium price.
The continually increasing demand will also contribute to the price drop of SSDs because by 2012, solid-state drives will start taking up a larger portion of the manufacturing capacity in factories.