Print 20 comment(s) - last by CaedenV.. on Feb 6 at 11:58 PM

Pressure from SSDs and declining demand will affect the market

The traditional hard drive market has been under assault from various factors over the last several years. One of the biggest factors affecting hard drives has been the decline in the computer industry. With fewer sales of computers, fewer hard drives are required leading to declining profits. At the same time, as notebooks get thinner, manufacturers are increasingly using solid-state drives.

Market research firm iSuppli reports that hard drive market revenue is expected to decline in double-digit numbers during 2013. The research firm is predicting revenue of $32.7 billion for 2013, a decline of 11.8% from 2012. The research firm also believes that revenue for the hard drive market will be flat in 2014 with a revenue forecast of $32 billion.

“The HDD industry will face myriad challenges in 2013,” said Fang Zhang, analyst for storage systems at IHS. “Shipments for desktop PCs will slip this year, while notebook sales are under pressure as consumers continue to favor smartphones and tablets. The declining price of SSDs also will allow them to take away some share from conventional HDDs.”

ISuppli also expects that gross and operating margins for hard drive manufacturers will continue to decline thanks to price erosion in the market. Despite declining profits, the research firm predicts that hard drives will continue to be the dominant form of storage during 2013, particularly in the ultrabook and business realms.

Source: iSuppli

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Return to normal?
By DanNeely on 2/6/2013 9:03:30 AM , Rating: 2
Is this an actual decline or just returning to normal after last years windfall profits following the Thailand flooding of 2011? The fact that they're predicting 2014 to be flat, implying this is a one off drop makes me suspicious.

RE: Return to normal?
By DanNeely on 2/6/2013 9:07:21 AM , Rating: 3
Back in mid 2011 (before the floods), iSupply was predicting only ~$29bn revenue for HDs in 2012 and ~$31bn this year and only $32 bn in 2015; so yeah this is just the post-flood price spike windfall winding down.

RE: Return to normal?
By Mitch101 on 2/6/2013 10:19:36 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure about everyone else but because of the excessive hard drive prices.

I cleaned out a ton of junk and old stuff I didn't need.

Discovered SSD drives like many others so my Home PC, laptop, and server got SSD drives and those hard drives that were replaced by SSD's filled my need for additional hard drive space and backups. (4 hard drives replaced by SSD) Put laptop drive in an external enclosure and picked up a two bay USB 3.0 dock.

I moved important data to BLU-RAY 25gig disks at under $1.00 a disk. Mainly pictures, home movies, files etc. Still have a stack of blanks and I see the price has come down to around 65 cents a disk now.

The hard drive crisis just weened me off being a hoarder.

RE: Return to normal?
By DanNeely on 2/6/2013 10:51:17 AM , Rating: 3
I've had enough CDR/DVDR failures as disks aged over the years that I wouldn't trust them for backups of anything of value.

Any data I consider valuable's stored on at least 2 drives (main computer and home server), soon to be three (USB3 enclosures for server (offsite) backup are in transit), with high value data also backed up to the cloud.

RE: Return to normal?
By Motoman on 2/6/2013 11:04:54 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but these days a 1Tb hard drive is like $60. So...go ahead and horde.

The last PC I built for myself has a 120gb SSD for the OS and Office installs...and a 2Tb HD that I installed all my other programs and games on, and that I pointed my User folder to. It's a pretty good way to go...especially considering the rock-bottom prices of HDs these days.

RE: Return to normal?
By futrtrubl on 2/6/2013 2:29:36 PM , Rating: 3
That's just it, while low again they aren't at rock-bottom prices right now and they certainly weren't after the floods. You can get HDDs now for $60/TB now sure, but they used to be $40/TB before the floods and then $120/TB right after the floods.
The floods didn't hurt the HDD makers, they used it to raise the price, gouge the market and make record profits. I was lucky and didn't have a HDD die while the prices were super high (which is surprising as I have 10 running 24/7, so plan for a failure rate of 2/year).

RE: Return to normal?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/6/2013 3:48:24 PM , Rating: 2
Dude I just grabbed one of those new Western Digital 'Red' 2TB drives for $90. How much cheaper do you think these things can get?

RE: Return to normal?
By CaedenV on 2/6/2013 11:58:53 PM , Rating: 2
before the flood you could get 2TB drives for $80 WITHOUT sales or incentives. With sales you could occasionally find them for $50-60.

RE: Return to normal?
By zephyrprime on 2/6/2013 2:04:56 PM , Rating: 2
This is not just a post flood decline. Units shipped of new computers actually declined last quarter for the first time in probably decades. All hardware makers are affected.

RE: Return to normal?
By Silver2k7 on 2/6/2013 2:38:01 PM , Rating: 3
Im sure demands for smaller HDD's used for the OS is declining since they are beeing replaced by SSD's..

but since the large SSD's is still prohibitly expensive to most consumers at larger sizes like 2TB+ regular HDD's with 2-4TB used for storage will still be a neccesity.

Yes, but don't overlook other opportunities.....
By GotThumbs on 2/6/2013 8:55:26 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, many consumers are by-passing a desktop computer or upgrading to SSD boot drives or going towards laptops or tablets for their web content and FBing, but HDD companies should not overlook a growing trend by many tech-savvy consumers. Techies are always early adopters and as time provides simpler setups that are more user friendly, then general consumers will jump on board. I'm talking about personal clouds and home storage. I have my own home-server with 4 terabytes of storage. This is small compared to many others out there, which can be between 10 and 20 terabytes. This server hosts all my music, archived movies, documents and backups of all my families computers. I can stream the movies/music using my smart TV, computer, tablet, or smart phone (Android of course). I use Subsonic for the streaming of my music catalog (listening right now). The one time cost/donation is very reasonable rather than a yearly fee that Apple charges. This central repository allows streaming of music and video anywhere and I'm in total control/ownership of it. Google music is a free service up to 20 gigs, but having to upload each song is too time consuming for me. Apples walled garden will always be avoided and you still have to pay to access ICloud content you purchased from Apple. Only a fool would choose this option IMO.

Home-servers will continue to grow over time as it puts control back in the consumers hands. I haven't even touched on the additional things one can do with a home-server. Add security cameras to record activity and notify you at the same time, also syncing/interfacing with future smart appliances. Program you coffee maker from your phone, close garage door, etc..

Best Wishes for the year,

RE: Yes, but don't overlook other opportunities.....
By 91TTZ on 2/6/2013 9:49:05 AM , Rating: 2
Home-servers will continue to grow over time as it puts control back in the consumers hands. I haven't even touched on the additional things one can do with a home-server.

I agree with this. While all the PC hardware and software makers would love everyone to adopt a "rent" approach where you can't own your own stuff, the consumer is the one that drives demand and people don't like being nickel and dimed to death.

The average computer user may not understand the technical aspects of a thick client vs. thin client setup, but they surely will understand that they're being asked to pay a service fee for something that used to get for free after they bought it. Eventually "cloud" and "service" will earn a negative connotation because it will become synonymous with "you have to keep paying for it". With the economy getting worse for the average person, people are starting to pay closer attention to where their money goes.

By Reclaimer77 on 2/6/2013 11:32:44 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure how we're defining the "average consumer". But it seems to me the average consumer wouldn't be tackling a DIY home server build. Especially when comparing the fairly large upfront price to the pennies a day a cloud service offers.

By zephyrprime on 2/6/2013 2:41:32 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, renting is actually very expensive. Take a look at amazon's cloud service pricing. It's much cheaper to own than it is to rent!

By sixteenornumber on 2/6/2013 8:41:55 AM , Rating: 2
The price of storage is still an issue for me. Adding 6TB of SSDs to my raid isn't exactly cost effective. Unfortunately for HDDs, the price of SSDs are dropping faster than HDDs so it's only a matter of time.

I'd keep buying HDDs buy prices haven't really come down since the floods a year and a half ago.

RE: prices...
By xti on 2/6/2013 12:41:44 PM , Rating: 1
sounds like this hobby doesnt fit your pay grade...

RE: prices...
By Silver2k7 on 2/6/2013 2:55:03 PM , Rating: 2
"Unfortunately for HDDs, the price of SSDs are dropping faster than HDDs so it's only a matter of time."

HAMR (heat-assisted magnetic recording) might take 3.5" HDD's to 60TB+ but it seems it might not go into actual manufacturing until 2016.

It looks like we will get 5.6TB drives from WD this year.
and possibly 6TB or larger drives with TDK's new thermal assisted magnetic head in 2014.

I still hope that SSD continue drop in price and increase in reliability.. SSD would be nice for external storage drives since they have no moving parts and are hopefully not easily damaged if moving wile in use etc.

SSD's might eventually replace the traditional HDD as storage drives, but I guess it will still take many years before that happends.

RE: prices...
By Gunbuster on 2/6/2013 3:52:20 PM , Rating: 2
So with a spinning drive you go up in size by 50% but probably gain 10% in speed.

At a certain point these drives become useless. I have a 7 X 4TB drive raid that has been building since 9:30 and it's only at 85%. If they cant step the speed along with the capacity traditional HDD makers have no chance.

New meta
By Shadowmaster625 on 2/6/2013 10:59:40 AM , Rating: 1
5 years ago if you had 3-5 computers in your house they all had 320-500GB HDDs. 10 years ago if you had 3 computers, they all had 40-160GB HDDs. See the pattern? So today, does it mean you should have a bunch of 500GB-2TB HDDs? Nope. You have each machine with a 60-128GB SSD, and they all share a NAS. The paradigm has changed. And not in the favor of HDD manufacturers. Really it is their fault for not simply building a decent hybrid drive. There is no reason anyone should pay more than a $20 premium for a 8GB hybrid solution. But they are just being stupid about it. All it takes is 8GB of MLC NAND, 128MB of cache, and some well written firmware, and there would be no market for SSDs because the real world perfomance of HDDs would be excellent. But like I said they really dropped the ball.

RE: New meta
By Silver2k7 on 2/6/2013 3:04:59 PM , Rating: 2
My smallest HDD still in use is a 750GB wich I think is from 2006. It will probably be replaced by a 2TB. Then my smallest drive in use will be 1TB. Perhaps im not the typical user. :)

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