The Storage Newsletter shared an excerpt from Trendfocus’s research paper covering 2022, reporting on the largest hard drive storage providers, their shipments, and market shares. They’ve all seen significant shipment declines over the past year, with Seagate and WDC seeing their shipments nearly halve.
According to these numbers, the worst performer in the market is the largest member of the hard disk industry trio, Seagate. The company’s hard drive shipments fell 43.7% last year, while WDC fluctuated around the same level, dropping 43.0% over the same period. But Toshiba wasn’t hurt in 2022 either, as shipments fell in line with competitors, down 39.3% year over year.
Industry-specific shipments also fell 42.5% over the year to about 35 or 36 million units. Of course, the industry cannot withstand such a blow for many years before it becomes unsustainable and hard drives join the technology graveyard.
In addition to the general market trends and examining the performance of each of the three major hard disk drive manufacturers, the market analysts have looked at three hard disk drive segments separately. Trendfocus estimates that the biggest problem facing HDD storage media manufacturers lately is declining business demand for cloud storage. A combination of cloud storage business consolidation and inventory corrections resulted in “shipments falling to 10 to 11 million units in the fourth quarter of 2022.”
Moving on to consumer and desktop 3.5-inch hard drives, the single-digit percentage drops aren’t horrible, but they still show no signs of picking up. Makers of 3.5-inch hard drives had hoped for a market rebound and an end to slumping consumer confidence in the fourth quarter of 2022, but both never materialized.
Finally, 2.5-inch hard drives showed a glimmer of light with a 15% rebound year-over-year, but that could also be due to the holiday season.
Recently, the site Toms Hardware Half terabyte hard drives, I note, are about the same price as SSD offerings of similar capacity. In its report, TrendForce (not to be confused with Trendfocus) mentioned some very ominous news for the portable hard drive industry, saying that 92% of laptops sold in 2022 will have solid state drives, and that percentage is expected to rise to 96. % in 2023.
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