Average HDD Capacities Continue to Increase

Despite the drop in HDD unit shipments, both sequentially and year-over-year, total capacities shipped by the two leading makers of hard drives increased in Q1. Seagate supplied 55.6 EB (Exabyte) of HDD storage last quarter, up from 54.6 EB in Q1 2015, but down from 60.6 EB in the previous quarter. The total capacity of Western Digital’s HDDs shipped in the first quarter of 2016 was approximately 62.2 EB, a moderate increase from 61.3 EB in Q1 2015.

When it comes to hard drives, one thing that has been growing quarter-over-quarter for a long time now is average HDD capacity, particularly in the enterprise segment, but not only there. In Q1 2016, an average drive could store around 1.4 TB of data, an increase of 28.5% (Western Digital) and 29.7% (Seagate) from the same quarter last year.

Average HDD Price Stays at $60 compared to Q1 2015

Despite the local price hikes by HDD makers, the industry can clearly produce more hard drives than it can consume, which is why prices of mass HDD models remain rather low. This will likely change in the future, when consumers shift to higher-capacity drives because of 4K UHD video or other reasons, but right now an average HDD from either Seagate of Western Digital costs approximately $60.

This will likely change after Seagate implements its plans to cut down its manufacturing capacities and supply-demand balance of the market will stabilize. However, it remains to be seen how significantly that is going to change going forward.

Market Share: Seagate, WD and Toshiba Shipments Market Trends: Client, Notebook, External and NAS all Down


View All Comments

  • Gunbuster - Thursday, May 12, 2016 - link

    Perhaps if the HDD manufacturers did more than put the most pathetic scrap of SSD in their hybrid offerings they could have retained some traction. Segate tooting their horn recently about the staggering upgrade to 32GB flash on the SSHD... I mean come on... Reply
  • Michael Bay - Thursday, May 12, 2016 - link

    Do that, and you get a corresponding increase in price.
    Their main customer is not you or me, but OEMs making PCs, which are themselves deadlocked in the race to the bottom.
  • Wolfpup - Thursday, July 14, 2016 - link

    I wonder how that performed? I used their first gen hybrid drive for about 3 years. Had a 500GB 7200RPM drive + 4GB SLC + 32MB RAM. Performed really well for the time, like honestly it 'felt' closer to an ssd than a mechanical drive (though since programs keep getting bigger, I don't know that that would always be the case-seems like Windows 10's constantly doing stuff too, that an SSD can handle better).

    I was disappointed when they switched from 7200 to 5400RPM, though a larger flash cache might negate that.
  • Ushio01 - Thursday, May 12, 2016 - link

    I wonder how Samsung's new 16TB SSD will change things by next year in the enterprise? it has the highest capacity with far lower power usage than any 3.5" HDD. Reply
  • madspartus - Thursday, May 12, 2016 - link

    Call me crazy, but having pricing in the 1-3 TB range be basically flat since 2010 is not going to help them sell at all. Sure bigger models are out now, but the pricing is just awful, and every day SSDs become more attractive in every regard compared to magnetic disks. Reply
  • tamalero - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    4tb now costs the same as 3tb/2tb costed a year ago. So no idea why you're saying they're flat. Reply
  • dsraa - Thursday, May 12, 2016 - link

    What about all the porn??? I use up atleast 1-2 TB for just that.... Reply
  • Michael Bay - Thursday, May 12, 2016 - link

    But why do you need YEARS of porn? Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Thursday, May 12, 2016 - link

    We all know the answer to that.... Reply
  • HighTech4US - Thursday, May 12, 2016 - link

    Quote: Due to severe declines in demand for hard drives, it does not look like HDD makers want to fight for market share.

    Ahh I sure do miss the price war days

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