One might not think that the floods in Thailand would affect memory sales, of all things, but they just might, albeit indirectly.
The floods that shut down factories in Thailand crippled the worldwide supply chain of hard disk drive units.
Thus, with fewer storage devices to go around, fewer PCs will sell during 2012, particularly in the first two quarters.
It doesn't help that the slow PC season is here as well (the holiday season is nearing its end and shipments will reduce for a few of months or so).
All in all, not only is memory oversupply still an issue, but there will be even lower PC sales than originally feared.
We already said that the only thing that might prevent DRAM chip prices from falling much further is that there is not much room for them to go down anymore
Now, to illustrate just how far things have gone, it was reported
that 4GB modules currently sell, on average, for $16.5.
These modules hovered around the $20 mark for months and were below it as far back as October
Since then, spot prices rebounded once or twice, but only for a day or so each time.
The rest of the time, they kept going down, until they ended up in the current situation, where 4 GB is the standard capacity of desktops and notebooks alike.
At least manufacturers have cut production capacity, even though none of them enjoyed taking this last resort.
2012 should at long last see an improvement in the supply-demand ratio (the first half of the year should show some results to this effect).
That said, consumers, especially those who kept putting off a new memory acquisition in the hopes of further price cuts, may wish to stock up on RAM now, before prices begin to recover.