HDD suppliers bound for choppy waters
WD overtaking Seagate? Toshiba leapfrogging Hitachi GST?
Comment Graphed IDC numbers from Stifel analysts Aaron Rakers tell us that Western Digital is poised to overtake Seagate as the hard disk drive (HDD) shipment share leader, reversing a decade or more of Seagate dominance.
Seagate's share in the last quarter of 2009 was 31.1 per cent while WD recorded 30.8 per cent, a trifling 0.3 per cent difference. The chart shows a ten year plus trend of WD's shipment share rising and Seagate's falling.
If the trend continues then WD will overtake Seagate, driven by its dominance in desktop SATA and small form factor drives and Seagate's less than stellar performance in the 2.5-inch drive market. (Extrapolation can be a mug's game of course, but there's no other guide to long-term performance.)
Another upset underway, graphically demonstrated again, is the rise of Toshiba's share and the long-term decline in that of Hitachi GST, which has stated its wish to be a leader in the HDD market. Without a strong and sustained change in its shipment share that is not going to happen.
Toshiba has picked up a good deal of Fujitsu's HDD business and is a busy developer of areal density improvements in its 1.8-inch and 2.5-inch drive sectors. HGST has a lot of work to do, having seen its share trend down during the whole of 2009.
If any two of the bottom three suppliers - HGST, Samsung and Toshiba - were to partner, then they could challenge Seagate and Western Digital much more effectively. Without that they face a decade or more of struggle to get to the sunny and profitable shipment share heights enjoyed by the US pair. ®
How the mighty have fallen
Seagate's cost cutting included reverting their 5 year warranties to 3, closing their Singapore plant, instead now having all the drives manufactured in China.
Other nice notifications of failure include the end of Seashells (now they only ship in standard anti-static bags).
They've stopped trying to be the best, and sales undoubtedly show this.
It's a shame, because I always swore by Seagate drives, and purchased only Seagate drives for my home machine/servers.
Please don't kill Hitachi GST
Hitachi are the only (consumer and small server grade) disks that actually work and are reliable. But since they cost marginally more than the cheap competitors, they will soon die. I should start a campaign: "Save Hitachi Disks NOW!"
Pet loves, pet hates
I love WD for their Raptor drives, never had a problem with a WD drive; Seagate, I had dozens go wrong in RAID arrays in servers, bloody things were a PITA, also lost a few in non-servers too. Vowed to avoid them like the plague.
Friends curse WD and love Seagate for similar reasons.
There must be some sort of cosmic karma for hard drives.
But in the long-term hard-drives are going away so we can only expect consolidation, and then further consolidation, in a dying market.