Demand for hard disks grows despite shrinking PC market, cloud services

The worldwide market for personal entry-level storage devices, including hard disk drives and solid-state storage devices, grew 73.4% year-on-year during the first quarter of 2013.

The growth occurred despite a shrinking desktop PC market, increasing availability of cloud-based services and the growing popularity of tablets and smartphones.

The total value of all shipped PELS devices for the quarter reached $US1.79 billion, up 54.1% from $US1.16 billion for the same quarter a year earlier.

In total, 20.2 million units were shipped during the quarter.

The growth comes in the wake of the 2011 Thailand floods, which devastated global hard disk supplies following large sale flooding of several major factories.

At the time, Thailand was the world’s second largest supplier of hard disks, accounting for 25% of worldwide shipments, leading to hard disk prices doubling and remaining high through most of 2012.

“The first quarter of 2013 brought strong shipment and revenue growth as well as continued recovery to the personal and entry-level storage market,” said Liz Conner, an IDC senior research analyst.

“A year after the PELS market saw record declines due to the Thailand floods and resulting hard disk drive (HDD) shortage, the PELS market has recovered back to pre-flood levels. Continued end user data growth, increased awareness on the need for data storage/back-up, declining average selling prices, and evolving vendor product offerings have all attributed to the recovery in the PELS market.”

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