Hard drive prices said to be on the way up

At this point, it's no secret that solid-state drive prices are slowly inching down. But could perennially cheap mechanical hard drives actually be getting more expensive? Yes, reports DigiTimes, which says 500GB hard drives have "recently" seen a 4-5% price hike.

The site attributes the increase to Seagate, Western DIgital, Toshiba, and Hitachi "all reducing their capacity in the fourth quarter." I assume the story is talking about production capacity, not storage capacity. Yeah, I had to do a double-take, too.

Since DigiTimes doesn't provide background information about why production capacity is being reduced, you'll just need to use your imagination. Perhaps all of those hard-drive makers are simply seeing softening demand and are wary of oversupply, which could cut into their profit margins. Then again, the fourth quarter isn't traditionally weak demand-wise—you know, with Christmas sales and everything.

In any case, SSD prices should keep going down. DigiTimes points out that Micron, Intel, Samsung, Toshiba, and Hynix are "advancing into developing 20nm processes," and that "related price drops . . . should stimulate demand for the year-end holidays."

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