Market Brief

Overall Market

Consumers are able to upgrade to larger storage drives and own a drive with terabytes that are relatively
cheap, have low switching costs, and usually have better specifications than their own drive. In today’s
market disk drives cost approximately 4 cents per gigabyte, while solid state drives are more expensive,
but have fallen drastically in price and cost around 25 cents per gigabyte. On average, solid state drives
are about 5 times more expensive than traditional disk drives. 2.5 inch drives, which are for laptops are
cheaper than 3.5-inch drives, which are used rarely for consumers. A 2.5-inch 120 gigabyte solid state
drive ranged between $30 to $49, while a 2.5-inch 240 gigabyte solid state drive ranged between $49 to $80.
2.5-inch solid state drive usually decrease in price faster than 3.5 inch drives because 2.5-inch drives
are for personal consumers, where 3.5-inch are usually for enterprises. The price for gigabytes are lower
for disk drives due to the market leaders distributing several drives per year. In 2017, Seagate announced,
it has both 14 and 16 terabyte disk drives coming to the market soon, where market leader Western Digital
has already created an exclusive enterprise only 14 terabyte disk drive. Western Digital Company has also
announced that they would shift their disk drives from heat-assisted magnetic recording or HAMR to
microwave-assisted magnetic recording. Western Digital believes that MAMR drives will provide a 100 times
increase in ‘time to failure’ and predict that the company will achieve a 15% compound annual growth rate
from enterprise disk drives sold. Western Digital as of a recent annual report had one of the higher disk
drive failure rates of 1.26%. The next highest Toshiba at 1.06%, Seagate at 0.93%, and Western Digital’s
subsidiary HGST at 0.82%.


John Rydning, an IDC research vice president for hard disk drives stated, “I do not envision enterprise
SSDs reaching price-per-GB parity with 10,000 rpm HDDs over the next five years. Rydning predicted
sustained demand for 10,000 rpm HDDs for storage workloads where they provide “good enough” performance.
He wrote via an email that 10,000 rpm HDDs continue to provide a “good balance of performance and value
for several storage workloads.”” Presently SATA hard drives cost between $50-$250, depending on the capacity,
RPM, interface, and cache. Last year in 2016, consumer disk drives shipped went up by 6%, while desktop disk
drives went down 18.5%. These drives are primarily bought by enterprises and start out for $300-$500 for a
cheap drive and at least $700 for an average drive. Quality continues going upward in price depending on
specifications. In 2016 these SAS Hard drives used in enterprises decreased by 4%.

Top Sales

Western Digital, Seagate, and Toshiba have manufactured the most disk drives and led the market through
2017. In 2017 Western Digital’s stock is worth approximately $92.91 a share, where Seagate comes next
with a share of approximately $40.33, and Toshiba with only $16.34 a share. To compare Western digital
in 2015 had its highest share value approximate of $110, Seagate in 2015 had an all-time high of $68.76,
and Seagate the third leader has had the hardest struggle and there all time high was in 2011 with a share
of $38.11 which has steadily decreased over the years. Currently in 2017, Toshiba is considering leaving the
disk drive market, due to bad investments, Toshiba has had to rely on a foreign investor to help the company
make profit to pay its shareholders.

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