Currently hard drives are considerably cheaper than SSDs in terms of price per GB, and especially in the higher capacities (on the order of 4 times cheaper). The two main strengths that mechanical hard drives have today is that they provide much higher capacities, in addition to having a much lower cost per GB. However, in five years this trend could change according to analysts.
Buying an SSD in 2026, cheaper than a hard drive?
A few days ago, an analyst published a compiled table that analyzed the price-to-capacity trend of enterprise SSDs and HDDs. Currently, the price per GB of SSDs is still considerably more expensive than that of hard drives but the trend is clearly downward, that is, in a short time the price of SSDs has dropped a lot and by 2026, from keep it up, it will equalize.
According to the analyst, this is due to the manufacturing cost of each product: between 2013 and 2020 the price of manufacturing hard drives has dropped by 13%, but the cost of manufacturing a flash drive has dropped by 33% in the same period, and hence the trend is down. In other words, if it costs less to manufacture, they can sell cheaper, or they can also increase capacity while maintaining the price (which also reduces the price per GB).
In the next 10 years, says the analyst, the price per unit of capacity for SSDs and HDDs will continue to decline but both will narrow the margin: SSDs are expected to reduce their cost of production by 26% while hard drives will decrease. it will reduce only 5.4%. The result of all this is that around 2026 the unit cost of SSD and HDD will be flat and is expected to be around $ 15 per Terabyte, resulting in that thereafter buying an SSD will cost the same as buying an HDD, and from then on it will be even cheaper.
In other words, from 2026 if you want to buy for example a 4 TB storage unit, be it SSD or HDD, it will cost you the same.
Hard drive manufacturers disagree
According to John Morris, CTO of Seagate (which is currently the largest hard drive manufacturer in the world), those who say that SSDs will kill mechanical hard drives have not seen the situation in the data center field at all. He said that half of global data right now is stored in data centers, and that 90% of the storage media in these is still mechanical hard drives, with only 10% SSDs.
This is a reality, but companies with data centers in the end what they are looking for is efficiency, and if within 5 years they will be able to buy the same capacity as they have with mechanical hard drives but in SSD, with a much higher performance, Nobody doubts that they will choose to use SSDs instead of mechanical hard drives, especially because their failure rate is much lower.
We’ll see what happens in the end, but if this analyst’s prediction really comes true and in five years we can buy SSDs cheaper than normal hard drives and with the same capacity, we could have finally reached the tipping point where the hard drive industry stops making sense. Renew or die, you know the saying.