Seagate, Toshiba, and Western Digital are currently the top three hard drive manufacturers in the industry, and among the three they account for almost all hard drives manufactured. The mechanical hard drive industry seemed destined to die out a few years ago, but it looks like circumstances have made the situation quite the opposite and, as we have argued before, they have just broken a historic capacity record. sent.
The largest capacity in hard drive history
Of the top three hard drive manufacturers sold 67.6 million units in the second quarter, including 19 million in business class, according to TrendFocus data. You can see from the graph above that in terms of number of units sold, they are well below previous years, since the maximum was reached in the third quarter of 2011 with over 180 million units sold.
Although the number of units shipped is higher than in the last quarter, it is far from the all-time high, but the interesting thing about this news is to see the accumulated capacity and, most importantly, the trend in the chart. (the black line). The total capacity of hard disks supplied during the last quarter is 351.4 EB (Exobytes)45% more than the same period last year and 22% more than the previous quarter. Ten years ago, when the record for unit sales was broken, this figure was around 100 EB, or 3.5 times less.
High-end, enterprise-grade high-capacity drives (with an average capacity of approximately 12.8TB) totaled 243 EBs, so the capacity of the remaining 48.6 million drives for the customer segment was increased. at 108.4 EB (giving us an average capacity of 2.33 TB). At the same time, the capacity of an average hard drive increased to 5.45 TB in the second quarter of 2021.
High-end hard drives for demanding and professional applications have dramatically increased revenues for Seagate, Toshiba and Western Digital. While the demand for hard drives is declining due to competition from SSDs, the revenues of these three companies have fallen from $ 8 billion to $ 9 billion per quarter (ten years ago, it was $ 5.5 billion. dollars), and always because of the extraordinary demand we are seeing. lately, sales in this quarter totaled $ 6,200 million in revenue, up 20% from the same period last year.
This means that the mechanical hard drive industry is far from dead or gone, and what’s more, it looks like it is reliving a great era. Manufacturers, who at no time have ceased to develop new technologies, are finally seeing the fruits of their efforts and investments and if five years ago it had been predicted that hard disks could disappear completely in favor of SDDs , now is that moment It seems further away than ever due to the good health now enjoyed in this industry.