HDD recovers rapidly from Thailand floods and sluggish market

March 8, 2012 – BUSINESS WIRE — The HDD industry is rapidly recovering in 2012 and beyond, after surviving natural disasters and tepid market conditions in 2011. According to a report by market research firm TRENDFOCUS, the threat from flash is overblown, and the HDD industry will grow to $48 billion by 2014. 2.3 billion HDDs will ship in the next 3 years for numerous applications and devices.

Also read: HDD rankings: Seagate ousts Western Digital after Thailand floods

According to TRENDFOCUS’ HDD Information Service 2012, the HDD market is surging due to a rebounding supply chain and pent-up demand from virtually all sectors. HDD prices have risen due to tight supply, and pending supplier consolidation (WDC is expected to acquire Hitachi GST) will boost profitability to all-time highs.

“HDDs will remain the king of storage for years, and will coexist with NAND flash in most applications,” stated Mark Geenen, President of TRENDFOCUS. “Global storage requirements are growing more than 40% annually, and demand from both the personal computer market and HDD-enabled CE devices will support tremendous expansion over the coming years.”

Unmet demand, brought on primarily by the late 2011 Thailand floods and deeply affected the supply of HDDs, will continue through 2012 and will keep supply tight.

In 2011 over 335 exabytes shipped – nearly tripling to 960 exabytes in 2014.

A 10X cost advantage favors broad and growing use of HDDs across most compute platforms. In 2012, client computing SSDs will approach $1.00/GB while client HDDs will hover around $0.10/GB even after accounting for HDD unit price increases following the October 2011 Thailand floods.

“Hybrid” and dual-storage devices (combined HDD and SSD) will boost the performance of HDDs to levels similar to those of SSDs in most cases, while providing users with cost-effective, high capacity local storage.

In 2012, there is likely to be just three suppliers (following WDC’s acquisition of HGST): Seagate, WDC, and Toshiba.

“Considering the challenges and opportunities, TRENDFOCUS views the HDD industry’s future positively. Our outlook is for over 830 million HDDs to ship in 2014 a robust 10% CAGR” added Geenen.

Access the report at www.trendfocus.com.

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