Over the last 12 months the price of flash memory has followed a long established downward trend but compared to previous year on year falls the drop in prices over the last 12 months have been pretty dramatic.
If you’d been looking to buying 8GB promotional USB flash drives printed with your logo and pre-loaded with your company data this time two years ago then you’d have expected to pay around £15 per USB stick. A year ago the same USB sticks would have cost around £10 each but today the price (depending on the quantity ordered) has dropped to around £4- £5 per unit!
That’s a huge amount of professionally produced and printed data storage for about the cost of a large swanky coffee! Just think about how many documents, catalogues, price lists, movie files etc. you could fit onto an 8GB drive and give out or send to your customers – give them an 8GB USB drive and they’ll almost certainly keep it and use it because whatever you pre-load onto it before your hand them out and they’ll still be tons of space left for your customers or clients to load their own data onto the drive.
Unsurprisingly with these price reductions what we used to consider “larger” USB capacity sizes (4GB and 8GB) are now becoming the de facto choice for many. After all, the price differential between 1GB sticks and 8GB sticks is now only a £1 or two but the perceived value of an 8GB flash drive is still incredibly high.
A consequence of the move to larger flash memory sizes is that smaller “give-away” memory sizes of 128MB, 256MB and 512MB are getting harder to source – the simple reason for this is that very few factories (if any) are still producing memory chips of this size because it is simply not cost effective for them to do so. Effectively these small memory chips have gone “end of life” and where they are offered they are often re-cycled chips or “off-cuts” from chips that were originally destined to be larger chips.
Underpinning the price falls are a combination of seasonal price falls (late Spring and early Summer is a quiet period for the factories and pricing reflects the sluggish demand), Moore’s Law (which states that the number of transistors on a chip will double approximately every two years), and a weakening USD ($) – flash memory is priced in $’s so any weakness against the GBP (£) = lower prices.
So, when you think promotional USB flash drives don’t think cheap and cheerful 128MB sticks but think cheap and very happy 8GB sticks!