Industry analyst IHS iSuppli expects revenue generated by sales of mechanical hard disks to slide by 11.8 percent during 2013. HDD sales in 2012 grossed a healthy $ 37.1 billion in 2012, but 11.8 percent of speculative drop could cut that figure to about $ 32.6 billion. Revenues are expected to remain stable during 2014.
The company attributed the higher sales of SSD and HDD “price erosion” for this year is projected weaker revenue. However, iSuppli recognizes mechanical hard drives will remain dominant for some time, however, as they continue to offer the highest storage density possible at the lowest cost per gigabyte compared to competing alternative – SSD.
In 2011, a series of unfortunate floods hit Southeast Asia. As a result, storage vendors struggled with supply and production difficulties, which in turn led to high prices – units more than tripled in price. From its peak stratospheric in 2012, however, these sticker-shocking prices have been returning to Earth. Despite falling prices, however, the total cost of hard drives has remained higher than the figures pre-flood through numerous brands, models and capacities.
Interestingly, iSuppli also believes Western Digital Seagate could usurp as the global number one manufacturer of hard drives. The company speculates that technology helium WD – a characteristic acquired through the acquisition of HGST – could drive California-based manufacturer palpable advantage long rival Seagate.
While hard drives can suffer a little in 2013, iSuppli foresees a much bleaker scenario for manufacturers of optical drives and related media. The disappearance of the optical drives of laptops getting smaller and computers with greater reliance on cloud-based world in alternative technologies will ensure optical storage still languishing over 2013.