Western Digital laps Seagate
Top dog in hard drive units
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." ®
I'll still buy Seagates
To the person that had the bad experience, I'm sorry. However, I've had Hitachi's (100% failure rate) and WD's (50% failure rate) in the past and I'll still go with Seagate especially when it comes to server drives.
Maybe so but WD are not problem free.
My recent first time experience of WD was not great.
Apparently their "green" drives have a "head park" issue which causes a SMART counter to increment rapidly and exceed the recommended life value with a few months.
Plus WD don't support their drives under linux!?!
Plus the green drives aren't suitable for RAID configurations!?!
Plus customer support has ignored my emails.
Then there's the 4K block size issue, which doesn't play nice with windows...
I had a WD drive (OEM version, mind you, inside the #2 desktop manufacturer in U.S.) that died on me after 3 months, also did the clicking sound.
Funny how we never hear the story of millions of drives that are successfully in use w/o any problems. Main point: just because a drive in your hand died, it does not mean a certain brand is "bad". Every brand of drive has melons. That's why you back up your data.