IDC projects that HDD industry revenue potentially can grow from $33.4 billion in 2010 to $48.2 billion in 2015, but some things have to change for that to happen.
Industry researcher IDC came out June 9 with a report that suggests the
hard drive industry should re-evaluate its priorities if it's going to
hang tough against the powerful onslaught of solid-state drives in
consumer and enterprise markets.
IDC projects that HDD industry revenue potentially can grow from $33.4
billion in 2010 to $48.2 billion in 2015, but that some things will have
to change for that to happen.
"The HDD industry needs to shift its R&D priorities, giving more
attention to developing faster HDD performance for PC markets while
simultaneously delivering HDD capacity advancements," John Rydning, IDC
Research Director for Disk Storage Mechanisms, wrote in the report.
"At the same time, HDD vendors have an opportunity to transform into
storage solution providers with a broad range of products that address
the needs of both consumers and small businesses."
HDD makers certainly are not slacking off in R&D by any means; after
all, HDDs remain the industry standard storage media and are expected
to remain so for years to come. Industry leaders such as WD, Seagate and
Samsung continue to spend millions of dollars in research and regularly
turn out more capacious disks every few months.
In fact, Samsung's Spinpoint M8
for notebooks, which consists of two 500 gigabyte platters, was introduced June 9.
The report isn't as much a warning to the HDD industry as it is an
advisory to vendors, as well as user IT managers, Wall Street
analysts and industry media types.
"It [the report] is really communicating to people outside the industry
who are writing off the HDD industry for dead, and I don't think that's
the case at all," Rydning told eWEEK.
"They kind of look at the HDD industry as hapless victims, with a future
that is completely out of their control as they become victims to iPad-type tech
devices. No way that's true. There's still a very large supply chain
that still exists; there are some really big opportunities that still
exist for the drive industry, which still has a really solid future."
Rydning also wrote that hybrid combinations of spinning disks and SSDs
may be the best long-term product for spinning disk makers.
Other key findings in the research include:
- With or without industry consolidation, HDD average selling price
(ASP) declines will slow near term as HDD technology advancements are
slowing, making it more difficult for HDD vendors to reduce HDD bill of
- Long term, the HDD industry has an opportunity to increase HDD ASPs
with hybrid NAND and rotating disk storage devices aimed at the PC
The personal storage market continues to be one of the strongest growth segments for the HDD industry.