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Hard disc drive (HDD) vendors expect their shipments in the third quarter to stay flat sequentially, but drop over 10% on year due to PC clients’ reluctance in placing orders. Some HDD players have adjusted their shipment ratio estimates for the first and second halves of 2013 from 4:6 to 5:5.
In the first quarter, most HDD players suffered an almost 10% on-year shipment drop, causing them to turn their focuses to non-PC applications such as storage products. Vendors such as Western Digital, Seagate and Toshiba have all been aggressively developing products for the enterprise, cloud computing, consumer electronics and server segments.
Western Digital shipped about 60.02 million hard drives in the first quarter and the top-2 HDD makers – Seagate and Western Digital – together account for about 80-85% of the global HDD shipments currently.
Although overall demand for PCs and HDDs is weak, the HDD vendors noted that supply of 320GB 2.5-inch HDDs is currently tight. The 320GB 2.5-inch HDD segment already saw a price rise in May-June, but as demand continues to stay strong, their prices may rise higher in the near future.
But as the cost of making a 500GB 2.5-inch HDD is not much higher than that of a 320GB one, makers are now shifting their focus to the 500GB segment, which offers higher selling prices and profits. At the same time, they are gradually reducing the supply of 320GB hard drives.
However, as PC brand vendors are now mainly pushing products at entry-level prices, they are more apt to purchase 320GB 2.5-inch HDDs (US$30-40), which is about 20-30% cheaper than 500GB 2.5-inch HDDs (US$40-50).
Since most PC brand vendors are offering free cloud computing storage services to consumers, it should help satisfy consumers’ demand for extra storage space, which has been excluded because brand vendors trying to save costs.
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Source: Associated Press