WD Passes Seagate, Now No. 1 in HHD Shipments

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-06-01

Champagne glasses were undoubtedly clinking June 1 at Western Digital's Lake Forest, Calif. main campus.

Western Digital, which now prefers to be called WD, for the first time moved past perennial market champion Seagate Technology into first place in number of hard drives sold during one quarter, according to market numbers reported June 1 by iSuppli.

WD shipped a record 51.1 million HDDs (31.3 percent market share) during the three-month period from January to March 2010, up 3.2 percent from the 49.5 million it sold in Q4 2009, the market researcher said.

On the other hand, Seagate shipped 50.3 million HDDs in Q1 (30.9 percent market share), up a bit less than 1 percent from the 49.9 million it sold during Q4 '09.

Despite WD's overall higher sales total, Seagate out-earned WD in overall income from HDD sales, pulling down $3.1 billion in Q1 compared with WD's $2.64 billion, iSuppli said.

Seagate's larger revenue total is attributed to its serving the high-end enterprise sector, which brings larger financial returns, said Fang Zhang, analyst for storage systems at iSuppli.

WD: Lower-cost business model

"In comparison, Western Digital employed a lower-cost business model that translated into reduced average selling prices (ASP) and less revenue-but higher unit shipments," Zhang said.

Following WD and Seagate on the iSuppli market number list were Hitachi Global Storage Technologies in third place (28.7 million units shipped, 17.6 percent market share), Toshiba/Fujitsu in fourth (17.5 million units shipped, 10.7 percent market share), and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. in fifth  (15.5 million units shipped, 9.5 percent market share).

Hitachi showed the strongest quarter-over-quarter growth among the top 5, up 13.9 percent during the period. Toshiba/Fujitsu and Samsung both registered shipment declines, iSuppli said.

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