IDC: Hard disk market to return to growth

The analyst firm claims HDD vendors have pressed the ‘reset button’ following natural disasters decimating manufacturing.

research charts

Hard drive disk (HDD) shipments are set to return to growth following a difficult 2011.

So claims research firm IDC, which believes the natural disasters in Thailand and Japan hit the HDD market hard but the future of 2012 was looking brighter.

HDDs will continue to be the primary storage technology used in PCs and enterprise systems for most of this decade.

The report claimed the first half of this year would continue to focus on repairing factories in the regions, but in the second half, HDD shipments will see a record year-on-year growth of 7.7 per cent following the 4.5 per cent decline in the previous year.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

IDC also claimed the market would achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.6 per cent between 2011 and 2016.

John Rydning, research vice president of HDDs at IDC and author of the report, said the troubles faced by the industry had given it the opportunity to start again with pricing structures, which had been falling at an excessive rate.

"In many respects, the hard disk drive industry has collectively hit the 'reset' button," he said.

"A reset of the HDD industry structure should allow for the remaining HDD industry participants to slowly reduce HDD prices from current levels at a rate that still delivers value to customers, while at the same time ensuring sufficient funding is available to develop new HDD technologies that are needed to improve HDD capacity, performance, reliability, power consumption, and security."

However, Rydning claimed HDD vendors couldn't return to just providing the basics to an

industry with changing devices and new ways of implementing storage.

Advertisement - Article continues below

"Long-term revenue growth will only be realised if the remaining participants transform into storage device and storage solution suppliers with a broad range of products for a wide variety of markets," he added.

The other issue with returning to growth for HDDs is also the growing threat of the solid state drive (SSD) market.

A report released at the beginning of March by DRAMeXchange, a subsidiary of larger analyst firm TrendForce, claimed SSDs are set to fall below $1 per GB for the first time in 2012, which would help remove the barrier of high prices and speed up adoption of the technology as a replacement for HDDs.

However, Claus Egge, analyst and partner at Rainmaker Files, claimed there was some way to go before HDDs were taken over by their faster, more expensive cousins.

Advertisement - Article continues below

"The [shipment] volume is much higher for HDDs than SSDs, 25 times or more," he told IT Pro. "My personal prediction is it will take more than five years before prices converge, and Flash has got its flaws [too]."

"So I don't see SSD usurping HDDs in the coming five years. Most capacity shipped only needs HDD performance [as it] is more than adequate, so SSD will post high growth, but from a lower base."

Advertisement - Article continues below

Rydning concurred that HDDs are here to stay for a while yet. "SSD adoption is growing, but SSD pricing is not dropping quickly enough to displace HDDs in the majority of new PCs," he told IT Pro.

"The percentage of new PCs shipping with an SSD continues to be a very small.HDDs will continue to be the primary storage technology used in PCs and enterprise systems for most of this decade."

Featured Resources

Report: The State of Software Security

This annual report explores important trends in software security

Download now

A fast guide to finding your cloud solution

One size doesn't fit all in the cloud, so how do you find the best option for your business?

Download now

Digitally perfecting the supply chain

How new technologies are being leveraged to transform the manufacturing supply chain

Download now

Small & Medium Business Trends Report

Insights from 2,000+ business owners and leaders worldwide

Download now



How to format a hard drive

16 Dec 2019

Most Popular


How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

5 Feb 2020

The top ten password-cracking techniques used by hackers

10 Feb 2020
Microsoft Windows

Windows 7 bug blocks users from shutting down their PCs

10 Feb 2020

Coronavirus starts to take its toll on the tech industry

6 Feb 2020