In the non-enterprise end of the data storage business, IDC reports, the markets were as healthy as ever in 2013.
As long as content keeps being created as fast and as furiously as it has been the last 10 years, the storage business will always need to be there to try and catch it all.
Worldwide personal and entry-level storage shipments grew a robust 13.6 percent year over year in 2013, with 75.2 million units sold, according to the IT researcher's Worldwide Personal and Entry Level Storage Tracker released Feb. 13.
These include mostly desktop and portable storage devices used in personal residences and small businesses, as well as sales of hard disk drives used in those storage devices.
Annual shipment values were up year over year, growing 6.2 percent to $6.7 billion. Unit shipments were down slightly in the fourth quarter, declining 4.2 percent year over year to 20.4 million units, while Q4 2013 shipment values were also down year over year, declining 10.3 percent to $1.8 billion.
The 3.5-inch hard drive form factor saw a decline of 18.8 percent year over year in units shipped, while the 2.5-inch drive saw units shipped remained flat, growing 0.8 percent year over year. The 3.5-inch drive continues to give way to the more portable 2.5-inch drive, with 3.5-inch losing 3.9 percentage points year over year.
End users continue to move to higher capacity points to meet storage needs. In the 3.5-inch personal storage market, 2TB devices represented 48.3 percent of unit shipments in the quarter. For the 2.5-inch personal storage market, 1TB devices captured 58.2 percent market share. For the entry-level market, capacity ranges are more varied due to multiple bays and vendors' ability to partially populate devices. However, 4TB devices hold the most market share with 28.2 percent of units shipped, IDC reported.
USB continues to be the interface of choice for the PELS market, with 93.3 percent market share. Ethernet remains the interface of choice for the entry-level market, capturing 95.1 percent market share. Thunderbolt continues to ramp up, posting a year-over-year shipment growth rate of 282.8 percent, albeit off a small base.