there are factors such as where around the world MFG takes place (it was worth nothing that malaysia labor is cheaper than china labor by at least 10%). There are various labor, energy, materials and shipping costs depending upon where the product is made and shipped to... the baseline price mentioned (30 to 40) would be the price per 1tb or single platter at whatever density drive at wholesale.. the mfg cost is a mere fraction of that excluding other costs such as shpping and marketing (yes, they have to hock the wares to wholesellers before it can reach a retail chain). few, if any sellers take a loss selling computer equipment (the turnover and pricing cycles are simply NOT aggressive to show)
it would be nice if they would just make multi terabyte Â ssds dirt cheap.. but that's not going to happen easily or soon..
IMO, ssd mfg processes are probably already LOWER than hdd mfg processes, except that the R&D costs have been so damn sky high.. they want that return on investment yesterday,,, Â
well, at least this part of tech is innovating.. and dropping prices.. you can't say that much for desktop CPU's or DDR memory or M/B's, or video cards..
before the end of the decade we'll probably see $1k video cards trying to be hocked by the likes of nvidia and intel-- maybe they'll have a reson to as 4k video and broadband sees mass adoption/mainstream access.