Rumor: Big SSD vendors squeezing out smaller fish

The solid-state drive market is a harsh, unforgiving place for smaller vendors. Or, at least, would one think so after reading DigiTimes' latest piece. The site has gleaned from Taiwanese "industry sources" that major SSD vendors are trying to squeeze out smaller competitors by slashing prices.

Why might they do that, you ask? DigiTimes suggests an interesting justification:

A number of channel retailers, which usually sell commodity memory products including flash drives and memory cards, recently began to offer SSDs . . . Some of the leading SSD producers are concerned about inferior products that might disrupt development of the market, and therefore have resorted to price-cutting measures to force the retailers to leave the market.

The site claims those "leading SSD producers" include Crucial, Kingston, Intel, and OCZ. It doesn't say which smaller players might be the victims of attrition, but there's no denying that plenty of less notable firms are offering SSDs these days—firms like, say, Patriot and Verbatim.

Competition can be a cruel thing. If it leaves us with more consistent quality and lower prices, then so be it, I suppose... unless, of course, prices suddenly climb back up once those smaller companies yield. At least prices are also being driven down by continued progress. In the same piece, DigiTimes notes that the price gap between 3Gbps and 6Gbps SATA drives will narrow this year, and 128GB and 256GB drives will supplant 32GB and 64GB offerings in the "mainstream."

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