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Monday, April 08, 2013
Hard Disk Market Down In 1Q13


Shipments of hard disk drives remained low in the first quarter of 2013, according to preliminary released by analyst company Trendfocus, Inc.

Desktop/CE HDD shipments fell slightly to 52 million HDDs in CQ1 '13. The decline was very modest, dropping around 1 million units from the prior quarter reflecting only modest seasonal softening. Desktop HDD ASPs estimates posted minimal declines for the quarter, dropping approximately 4% to $49 per unit. The pricing environment extended to other HDD segments as well, reflecting a consolidated industry's ability to manage supply in a weak demand environment.

Very weak PC ODM builds during the quarter triggered fear that the 2.5" mobile/CE HDD segment would be the primary driver to force the industry to slip beneath original total TAM forecasts of 132 million in CQ1 '13. Fortunately, shipments of this form factor held onto flat sequential unit volumes, indicating that mobile PC demand for HDDs has hit a bottom at this time and may rebound slightly moving into the second half of the year. However, with Windows 8 not being able to stimulate any measurable PC refresh cycle, 2.5" mobile HDD demand will likely remain muted through CQ2. ASPs for the quarter also dipped only modestly from the prior quarter, falling to $50 (this price may be adjusted when shipment mix is finalized in our Quarterly Update).

Traditional performance enterprise shipments fell slightly during the quarter, reflecting fairly conventional seasonal trends. Nearline, or capacity enterprise, HDDs continued to drive upward with demand from cloud datacenter (also referred to as webscale or hyperscale) customers increasing storage deployment modestly during the first calendar quarter of 2013. As a result, total enterprise HDD shipments shed less than 1 million units from the prior quarter, dipping just below 15 million HDDs. Based on a similar capacity and rpm mix as last quarter, enterprise HDD ASPs fell a few percent to $150-$155 range in CQ1.

Trendfocus estimates that Western Digital shipped approximately 58 million drives in this qurter. WD's desktop/CE unit sales declined by 1 million HDDs to 22 million units. The company's 2.5" mobile/CE HDD shipments were nearly identical to the prior quarter at 30 million units, while its enterprise demand remained flat at approximately 6.5 million for the quarter

Seagate is estimated to ship approximately 57 million HDDS. Seagate's 3.5" desktop/CE shipments were off modestly, shedding 1 million units to 28 million HDDs. Mobile/CE HDD held at 23 million in CQ1. Finaly enterprise HDDs remained at 7 million units for the second straight quarter.

Toshiba's shipments reached 20 million (up 10% Q-Q). with the company's 3.5" desktop shipments to grow modestly to approximately 3 million units. Toshiba's mobile/CE shipments were also up approximately 1 to 16 million units. Enterprise volumes (mission critical and business critical) were consistent at just above 1 million.


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