Feeds

Sputtering storage space portends poorly for PCs

Component sales point towards continued slump

The essential guide to IT transformation

With sales of most hard drives down, the much-anticipated rebound of the PC market looks to remain on hold for the moment.

Research firm IHS is reporting that shipments of storage drives for use in PCs fell over the course of the year with hard disk drives and optical drives continuing to fade while solid-state drive shipments increased.

The company said that last year, vendors shipped 755 million total units, down from 794 million units in 2013. Hard drive shipments fell by 31 million units, while vendors of optical drives shipped 34 million fewer units than in 2012.

Only SSDs were able to make gains on the year. Analysts estimate that suppliers shipped 57 million solid-state hard drives last year, up from just 31.3 million units shipped in 2012.

The IHS study only examines shipments of hard drives for PCs and notebooks and does not account for markets such as external storage, datacentres and hardware for embedded devices and appliances.

The numbers indicate that PC vendors expect sales to remain slow, amid heightened competition from smartphones and tablet devices which continue to encroach on the territory of desktop PCs and notebooks.

"The storage industry continues to navigate multiple transitions that are affecting each segment’s performance," IHS storage systems analyst Fang Zhang said.

"The SSD sector is easily the most promising, compared to a struggling HDD segment that remains huge but is still trying to find its footing in a shifting environment, or to the more beleaguered ODD space that now has become irrelevant."

That trend is pegged to continue through the coming year. Overall, IHS forecasts that vendors will ship just 739.9 million units this year. HDD sales could top out at 428 million, while SSDs will continue to climb with an estimated 85 million units. The continued need for high capacity and low cost storage should help to keep hard drives a mainstay in most systems, however.

Optical disks, meanwhile, will continue to suffer from the combination of dwindling PC sales and new designs which forgo optical drives in many notebooks. ®

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.