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In spite of economy slowdown, the market of hard disk drives (HDDs) will continue to grow in the coming years thanks to growing need for larger capacities, claim recent researches from IDC market tracking company. However, besides slowdown of economy, there are other challenges for the hard drive industry, namely flash, but it will not have a huge impact, says IDC.

Worldwide HDD shipments are expected to grow in 2008, even in the face of economic uncertainty in the United States, and increase at a compound annual growth rate of more than 9% between 2007 and 2012, IDC forecasts. Moreover, worldwide disk storage systems capacity shipments will continue to more than double every two years, growing at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 53% from 2007 to 2012, while spending will pass the $34 billion mark in 2012.

Flash-based solid state disk drives (SSDs) will curtail HDD demand in some markets, but the HDD industry will shrug-off these and other competing storage technologies to attain consecutive years of record-setting HDD shipments and revenue, analysts from IDC believe.

“Disk drive OEMs are very aware of the different competing storage technologies that exist today, and will exist in the future. They will rightly shrug-off these competing technologies for a later day, choosing instead to capitalize on the healthy and profitable opportunities that lie ahead in the hard disk drive industry,” said John Rydning, research director for hard disk drives at IDC.

There are two solid advantages that HDDs have over SSDs: cost-per-gigabyte as well as longer life-cycle due to the fact that every flash bit can be recorded a limited amount of times. However, solid state drives provide lower power consumption and faster operation.

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