Hard drive shipments reached a new record at the end of 2005, with the industry shipping 103.4 million units in the fourth quarter of last year. This is an increase of 8.3 percent from 95.4 million in the third quarter, and up 20.9 percent from 85.5 million in Q4 of 2004. The shipments for the end of 2005 were boosted by strong demand from the consumer electronics market, such as from devices like MP3 players and Personal Media Players. Healthy notebook sales also contributed to the high levels of shipments.

Despite much speculation that Flash memory could threaten the existence of 1" harddrives, hard drive suppliers posted one of their best years ever with "practically every" hard drive maker being in the black in Q4, iSuppli said. Seagate and Western Digital reported record revenues and healthy net incomes. Hitachi GST reported a profitable quarter after a string of net losses. Both Fujitsu's and Toshiba's parent companies stated that their hard disk divisions generated healthy returns, according to the market research firm.