Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Western Digital will reign in HDD market in 2010

Dr. Robert Castellano, The Information Network

NEW TRIPOLI, USA: We were off by a quarter when we stated last year that “Now, it looks to us as if Western Digital will move into first place in the overall HDD business for calendar year 2009 on a unit basis, usurping Seagate’s dominance.” A surge in desktop PC sales kept Seagate in the lead for the year.

This past quarter, Western Digital moved past Seagate, shipping 51.1 million units compared to 50.3 million for Seagate.

With Western Digital’s stranglehold in the mobile HDD space, we forecast it will move ahead of Seagate in 2010 and continue to grow.

For 2009, a total of 558 million HDDs were shipped. Seagate led with a market share of 31.4 percent, just ahead of WD. HGST was third with a 16.4 percent share.

The mobile sector was a tight race, with 211 million HDDs shipped. WD led with a 28 percent share, but Toshiba/Fujitsu, HGST, and Seagate followed with a 2 percent share difference among the three companies.

The 3.5-inch form factor, common in PCs, was the largest sector with 306 million HDDs shipped. Seagate led with a 43 percent share followed by WD with a 32 percent share.

The hard disk drive (HDD) market is tough, to say the least. In 1985, there were 60 hard disk drive manufacturers in the world. Through industry wide consolidation, that number has dwindled to a handful, primarily because of shrinking profits and technology challenges. The latest move came in 2009 when Toshiba announced it would purchase Fujitsu’s HDD business.

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