The external hard disk drive market in EMEA had a difficult first half last year, mainly due to supply chain challenges in 2011, culminating in annual volumes for 2012 falling by 17% to 21.5 million. This is compared with nearly 26 million units in 2011, according to the latest quarterly HDD report from Futuresource Consulting.
"The decline can be linked to the floods suffered by Thailand in 2011, which created shortages in shipments and further price increases," says Mats Larsson, Senior Market Analyst with Futuresource Consulting. "The second half of 2012 showed minimal signs of positive growth, with prices still higher than over a year ago. Some have debated that many retailers gained bargaining power as they held back on HDD purchases in the hope that distributors would drop their prices, allowing other substitute storage solutions to come into play. Others argue that alternative technologies - like the strong growth in tablets as well as cloud storage - impacted external HDD demand. Futuresource research shows that it is a mixture of the two, with the latter continuing to impact future trends."
Overall, the research firm found that year-on-year trends were positive in most EMEA countries, with Turkey and Saudi Arabia experiencing the strongest growth. However, when looking at the global picture, these multiple small increases have been overshadowed by larger declines elsewhere.
2012 was a turbulent year in the market not just due to shortages and price increase, but also from changes in the competitive structure.
The one brand that gained the most was Toshiba, which saw a 200% rise in market share in 2012 across the EMEA 17 countries tracked by Futuresource. Toshiba now commands the highest share of the largest share of the market to date, and taking almost half of all sales in Germany.