HDD revenue to fall 11.8% in 2013, WD may bump Seagate for top spot

By on February 5, 2013, 3:30 PM

Industry analyst IHS iSuppli expects revenue generated by sales of mechanical hard drives to slip by 11.8 percent during 2013. HDD sales in 2012 grossed a healthy $37.1 billion during 2012, but a speculative 11.8 percent drop could whittle that figure to roughly $32.6 billion. Revenue is expected to remain flat during 2014.

The firm attributes stronger SSD sales and HDD "price erosion" for this year's weaker revenue projections. However, iSuppli recognizes mechanical hard drives will remain dominant for some time though, as they continue to deliver the highest possible storage density at the lowest cost per gigabyte when compared to the competing alternative -- SSDs. 

During 2011, an unfortunate series of floods ravaged South Eastern Asia. As a result, storage manufacturers wrestled with supply and production difficulties which in turn led to skyrocketing prices -- drives more than tripled in price. Since their stratospheric apex  in 2012 though, those sticker-shocking prices have been steadily returning to Earth. Despite sliding prices though, the overall cost of hard drives has remained higher than pre-flood figures across numerous makes, models and capacities.

Interestingly, iSuppli also believes Western Digital could possibly usurp Seagate as the number-one hard drive manufacturer worldwide. The firm speculates that WD's helium technology -- a feature acquired through its acquisition of HGST -- could give the California-based drive-maker a palpable advantage over long-time rival Seagate.

While HDDs may struggle a bit in 2013, iSuppli foresees a far grimmer scenario for makers of optical drives and related media. The disappearance of optical drives from ever-shrinking laptops and computers alongside the world's increased reliance on cloud-based alternatives will ensure optical storage technologies continue to languish throughout 2013.

User Comments: 5

Got something to say? Post a comment
1 person liked this | spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

The government must be done building their super computers with a MILLION terabytes of storage, like the recently declassified "Argus" drone. Which records an entire city from the sky. Check out PBS documentary online called "Rise of the Drones" to see it in action.

Anyway, you take a million TB off the market for a single computer, the price is going up. The Thai flood probably had less impact on HDD prices than the US gov't.

1 person liked this | misor misor said:

Imo, the thai flood is just an excuse for the retailers to raise prices.

before the floods, 250gb and 320gb were no longer sold.

but due to "shortages", 250gb and 320gb suddenly became available.

fortunately and too much time late , some local retailers nearby have began to sell 1tb hdds again at about 30-40% more than pre-flood prices.

3tb hdds are sold at about the same as pre-flood prices ($/gb ratio)

500gb hdds are still sold at the price of 1tb hdds pre-flood.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Will that teach 'em to keep prices artificially high? Probably not, they rode the crest of the wave (pun intended) while it was there. A lot of them profited from some poor sod's misfortune.

avoidz avoidz said:

Obviously, they are still ripping us off for hard drives. The floods were a great business opportunity to reap more profits. Pretty sickening when you think about it.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Obviously, they are still ripping us off for hard drives. The floods were a great business opportunity to reap more profits. Pretty sickening when you think about it.

It's human nature after all. But what they all seem to forget is that without the consumer they don't have a business. It's a catch 22 situation because consumer needs hard drives & they need to show a profit. Obviously they're in business to make money, but hey... I'll bet if we were allowed to attend one of their financial meetings they'd be sitting around the boardroom table wearing ski masks and AK 47's in front of them.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.