Feeds

Western Digital laps Seagate

Top dog in hard drive units

The essential guide to IT transformation

Western Digital reported a stonking first 2010 quarter yesterday, with record revenues and unit shipments, passing Seagate in drive unit production numbers for the first time.

Revenues for the quarter were $2.6bn, 66 per cent up or a billion dollars higher than the year-ago quarter. Net income was $400m, a massive jump from the $50m earned a year ago. WD made 51.1 million hard drives, almost 20 million more than the year-ago quarter's 31.6 million. This was a 62 per cent increase year-on-year and three per cent sequentially.

Western Digital exceeded Seagate's 50.3 million units after a long quarterly catch-up in production number terms. Seagate is still bigger than WD in market capitalisation terms - $9.83bn vs $9.30bn - but that measure looks likely to swing the other way if WD sustains its unit production numbers lead and builds its enterprise hard drive market sales faster than Seagate.

CEO and president John Coyne said the overall demand for hard disk drives (HDD) in the quarter was higher than the firm anticipated, confirming the view that the storage recession is over. He's confident about the rest of the year, saying, "We believe that calendar year 2010 will be an extremely strong year for storage," and he expects next quarter's revenue to be in the range $2.48bn-$2.58bn.

Coyne is very pleased with WD being the largest shipper of hard drives in the world but says there's a long way to go to have the largest revenue in the HDD business.

In the earnings call, he said that WD is committed to broadening its enterprise HDD product line and building on its 10,000 SAS drive entry product - a multi-year endeavour.

He was asked if tablets like the iPad with their use of flash would affect the HDD industry and that PC manufacturers would move more to flash.

Coyne thought not - NAND flash has a limited supply and the bulk of it is going into smart mobile devices. These generate content and that has to be stored in bulk, which means on hard drives used in nearline storage and the cloud. He said: "As we look at the specs of some of the prospective tablets that are coming along, they will also have content generation capability. And we see it all as positive addition to the total infrastructural demand that’s going to drive our business into the future." ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.