Street prices higher than expected for Intel 335 Series SSD

Intel's new 335 Series 240GB SSD has a suggested retail price of $184, which works out to just 77 cents per gigabyte. When Intel briefed us on the drive, it indicated that street prices could be different—and they are. The 335 Series started selling online yesterday, and a perusal of active listings reveals that actual selling prices are quite a bit higher than Intel's MSRP.

Newegg, for example, is charging $210 for the drive. That price includes free shipping, but it's still 14% higher than we were expecting. Amazon doesn't fare any better. It's selling the 335 Series for $209, and you'll have to pay extra for shipping. Among major US e-tailers, seems to have the lowest price, at $195. Shipping is another $9 on top of that, which is the same as what Amazon is charging to have the drive sent to your door.

Surprisingly, Canadian customers are getting a bit of a break. Newegg's northern outpost lists the 335 Series for $200, while NCIX is selling it for $202. Neither of those vendors offers free shipping in Canada. However, NCIX's US site charges $201 for the drive, and that appears to include ground shipping at no extra charge.

SSD prices have been falling steadily, but the price war that fueled much of that decline seems to be waning as OCZ backs off on the deep discounts typically attached to its drives. (Overly aggressive "customer incentive programs" were blamed for OCZ's Q2 net loss.) Also, in just the past couple of days, the price of Samsung's 830 Series 256GB has jumped from $170 to $190-200. That model is on its way out, and the 840 Series drives that replace it are no cheaper.

I suspect prices will fall again as competition for holiday shopping dollars heats up, but they may not return to their previous lows, at least for this generation of drives. Intel's 335 Series uses next-generation NAND that should be cheaper to produce, though. Let's hope lower production costs allow the drive's street price to hit Intel's $184 target sooner rather than later.

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