According to a report by market research firm iSuppli, the hard drive market is expected to decline in 2013 with the drop being in double-digit percentage points. As expected the drop in unit sales of hard drives can be attributed to the rise in the sales of tablets, smartphones which completely use flash memory for storage and also the rise in solid state drive sales.
According to iSuppli the is expected to drop to USD 32.7 billion this year, which is an 11.8 per cent drop as compared to last year (from USD 37.1 billion). The trend will continue next year as see in the graph below and HDD revenues will further reduce to USD 32 billion on 2014.
Having said this, HDDs will continue to maintain market dominance due to their better cost per GB as compared to similar capacity SSDs. The HDD selling prices are expected to decline by 7 per cent this year. Ultrabooks will continue to sport HDD and SSD combos to give a better bang for the buck in terms of performance and storage. The report goes on to say that the major growth area for the HDD will be in the enterprise sector, cloud storage and big data analytics.
The battle between Western Digital and Seagate Technology will continue this year as well. While Seagate enjoyed a 50 per cent market share in the enterprise segment last year, Western Digital’s introduction of its new helium technology and coming out with a 5 TB drive holds a lot of promise according to iSuppli. This 5 TB drive is targetted at enterprise servers and storage applications.