Western Digital and Seagate command over 90 percent of the traditional hard drive market, so when one of these companies pipes up with concerns, everyone stops and takes note. According to Seagate, first-quarter revenues are likely to be 5 to 7 percent lower than its previous forecast of $4 billion, and it makes us wonder if it’s the start of a new trend.
Recent price cuts which have brought consumer costs closer to pre-flood levels than ever before certainly can’t be helping the bean counters, however they also mentioned that demand for hard drives was “muted”. The company expects to maintain its 40 percent market share with around 140 million units sold, however nobody in the spinning disk industry wants to hear growth has stalled.
Low cost mechanical drives will have a place in data centers for years if not decades to come, but could consumers be accounting for the discrepancy? Tablets and Ultrabooks rarely ship with traditional hard disk drives, and seem to be all the rage these days. It’s also possible capacities have reached a point where the average consumer simply can’t fill a 2TB drive, and thus rarely need more.