Today, flash memory in widespread use for laptops is merely a dream. Not a very distant dream, but according to current analysts less than 1% of laptops are being equipped with some form of hybrid or flash storage device. How quickly will that change? Supposedly, we could see figures as high as 60% within two years. That would be very impressive, indeed, and would mark a radical evolution for notebooks sold worldwide. How would that happen, exactly? Many analysts are not predicting the cost of flash to drop dramatically anytime soon, so that might lead some to believe that the cost of notebooks will rise or the profit margin on them will drop. However, the manufacturers of the flash are clearly expecting demand to skyrocket and are preparing for just that:
Manufacturers have been ramping up production of flash memory devices. Samsung, for example, recently introduced a 64-Gbyte solid-state flash drive for ultra-portable notebooks. The South Korean company unveiled the 1.8-inch drive at its annual Mobile Solution Forum in Taipei, Taiwan, and said it planned to start mass production in the this quarter.
That price barrier has already fallen dramatically, though they still cannot come close to comparing value dollar for dollar versus magnetic storage. Even so, 60% of notebooks sold in 2009 are expected to have flash storage. Pricier or not, I look forward to this.