Hard Disk Drives Market Performs Solidly, Despite of PC Sales Drop in Q1 – Analysts

HDD Market Reaches Its Bottom in Q1 2013, According to Market Trackers

by Anton Shilov
04/11/2013 | 11:50 PM

Although the market of personal computers dropped dramatically in the first quarter of 2013, sales of hard disk drives (HDDs) did not decrease that radically, according to preliminary results from Trendfocus, a market tracking company. Given that sequential shipments of HDDs were flat sequentially, analysts believe that the market has actually reached its bottom and there is nowhere to fall further.


According to Trendfocus, the total available market (TAM) of hard disk drives (HDD) in Q1 2013 was 135 million units, based on preliminary results that are very rough estimates at this point of time. Nearly flat sequential TAM indicates that market may have reached bottom, reports StorageNewletter.com web-site.

3.5" Desktop/CE HDDs

Desktop/CE HDD shipments fell slightly to 52 million HDDs in Q1 2013. The decline was very modest, dropping around 1 million units from the prior quarter reflecting only modest seasonal softening. Desktop HDD ASPs estimates posted minimal declines for the quarter, dropping approximately 4% to $49 per unit (this price may be adjusted when shipment mix is finalized). The pricing environment extended to other HDD segments as well, reflecting a consolidated industry's ability to manage supply in a weak demand environment.

2.5" Mobile/CE HDDs

Very weak PC ODM builds during the quarter triggered fear that the 2.5" mobile/CE HDD segment would be the primary driver to force the industry to slip beneath original total TAM forecasts of 132 million in Q1 2013. Fortunately, shipments of this form factor held onto flat sequential unit volumes, indicating that mobile PC demand for HDDs has hit a bottom at this time and may rebound slightly moving into the second half of the year. However, with Windows 8 not being able to stimulate any measurable PC refresh cycle, 2.5" mobile HDD demand will likely remain muted through CQ2. ASPs for the quarter also dipped only modestly from the prior quarter, falling to $50 (this price may be adjusted when shipment mix is finalized).

3.5"/2.5" Enterprise HDDs

 Traditional performance enterprise shipments fell slightly during the quarter, reflecting fairly conventional seasonal trends. Nearline, or capacity enterprise, HDDs continued to drive upward with demand from cloud datacenter (also referred to as webscale or hyperscale) customers increasing storage deployment modestly during the first calendar quarter of 2013. As a result, total enterprise HDD shipments shed less than 1 million units from the prior quarter, dipping just below 15 million HDDs. Based on a similar capacity and rpm mix as last quarter, enterprise HDD ASPs fell a few percent to $150-$155 range in Q1.

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