Why is anyone still surprised by this?
It's always been this way... one of the most recent things that springs to mind is what happened to HDD's after the floods of 5-6yrs ago. In the immediate days after the floods... Every single vendor raised the prices of their 'exisiting' stock and claimed it was due to lack of supply. The fact that this stock was already on the market at the old prices was ignored and it was nothing more than price gouging.
Those higher prices have NEVER fallen back to the pre-flood prices. Instead theyve stayed the same for around 6yrs now whilst newer larger capacity drives are just brough in at ever increasing prices that never reduce over time.
Based on almost 20yrs experience of buying hard drives, from around 2GB upwards. I have always paid an average of £60-70 for each HDD in a larger capactiy... Roughly doubling or tripling the size each time.
Now... I paid £115 for a 4TB drive 2yrs ago and today the same HDD is a little more expensive than that.
It's not down to a slow down in the market, that's only affecting small capacity drives due to the uptake of SSD's. Larger capacity drives are still the best VFM over SSD... and until you can get a 4TB SSD for less than a HDD there's no reason to make the switch.
So they continue to price gouge consumers to artificially keep profits higher on a platform that will eventually become obsolete. In the meantime, my media server gets lower and lower on space and I refuse to upgrade because to make it worthwhile I need to replace a couple of my smallest 3TB drives with at least 6TB ones or it's not worth doing... But it's cheaper to replace the motherboard with one with extra SATA sockets and buy another 4TB that fork out for a single 6TB drive... For the price of 2x 6TB I could also replace the CPU and double the memory, or buy a low end Ryzen setup... and those aren't exactly cheap.
The consumers are always shafted... just that here in the UK, we're getting shafted more than most..., and we're expected to bend over, lift our shirts, drop our trousers and say 'thank you' for the priviledge.