Western Digital stripped Seagate of its leading spot in the hard drive market during the first quarter of 2010 and the company maintained that lead throughout the year. According to Information Network, total hard drive shipments grew 17.1% to 653.5 million in 2010 and Western Digital represented 31.4% of the market, nearly two percentage points ahead of Seagate's share of 29.6%. Hitachi took third place in overall shipments with 16.4%, ahead of Toshiba/Fujitsu at 12.6% and Samsung at 9.2%.
Western Digital reportedly earned its number one title by focusing on the rapidly expanding mobile sector, whereas Seagate catered more to desktop and enterprise customers. The mobile computer market grew by 29% in 2010 -- more than triple the desktop sector's 8% increase. Western Digital accounted for 27.5% of mobile drive shipments, followed by Hitachi at 26% and Seagate at 20.4%. With the emergence of tablet PCs, 2011 should prove to be another fruitful year for the mobile storage market.