News HDD Shipments Tank as Industry Changes

Last year, the industry already saw a big drop in demand, which sadly is a trend that the COVID-19 outbreak has made worse.
People are not going to stop storing data just because they are stuck at home. If anything, that might increase their data storage needs. Any storage potentially not sold now may simply be shifted to future quarters.

In any case, this is likely more down to the reduction in SSD prices. While they've climbed a bit over the last few months, they have still been lower than they were the previous year. More systems are doing away with mechanical drives, so it makes sense that sales would be down, and that's probably going to be a continuing trend, at least on the consumer side of the market.
 
Nov 27, 2019
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I wonder if the massive increase in price has anything to do with it?
March bought a ST12000VN0008 for A$503. That same drive is now A$713-A$800

SSD prices increased too but only by 10%
 
Where I live every part of the PC I built a month ago increased.

3900X was at 540. It's now 649.
Dark Rock Pro 4 is 10 more bux.
X570 Aorus Elite was 260. Now 289.
2x16GB Trident Z Neo 3600 CL16 was 180. Now 229.
GPU already had that.
970 Evo 500GB was 150. Now 169.
860 Evo 500GB was in a sale at 110. Now 144.
P600S case was 189. Now 219.
PSU same price.

~ 280 more.
 
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Olle P

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If I read the table correctly the second column (after manufacturer) is the number of drives sold.
Given that the average amount of storage available per drive is steadily increasing I think it's safe to assume that the amount of storage sold has gone up.

So there are two more sets of data that should be added to the table to paint the whole picture:
  • Total amount of storage space sold, with changes from expectations and over time.
  • Total income from the drives sold, with changes from expectations and over time.
Selling a bit fewer drives at better profit doesn't spell that business is bad.
 
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Mr5oh

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"HD drives are dieing..." This keeps getting thrown around, but with games getting larger and larger, and bandwidth limits and data caps still very much alive in many places (not to mention places without high speed internet), they aren't going anywhere (not for quite a while).
 
"HD drives are dieing..." This keeps getting thrown around, but with games getting larger and larger, and bandwidth limits and data caps still very much alive in many places (not to mention places without high speed internet), they aren't going anywhere (not for quite a while).
How about when SSD are the same price? Do you think people will still use HDD?
 

bit_user

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People are not going to stop storing data just because they are stuck at home. If anything, that might increase their data storage needs.
That was worded strangely, but it seems their point was that COVID-19-related production issues compounded the industry's previous woes:

COVID-19-caused production issues take some blame in the 2.5-inch mobile and 3.5-inch desktop consumer categories.

Indeed, the strength of the nearline enterprise segment probably reflects demand for cloud storage.

In any case, this is likely more down to the reduction in SSD prices.
People pay market research firms for their reports, partly because they're based on non-public data, such as numbers of unfilled orders. So, if the report cites COVID-19-related production problems, then it's reasonable to assume that's based on more than the sort of idle speculation in which we indulge.

More systems are doing away with mechanical drives, so it makes sense that sales would be down, and that's probably going to be a continuing trend, at least on the consumer side of the market.
Yes, I assume everyone in the storage industry knows that. The latest development seems to be SSDs creeping their way into the NAS sector.
 

bit_user

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I wonder if the massive increase in price has anything to do with it?
March bought a ST12000VN0008 for A$503. That same drive is now A$713-A$800

SSD prices increased too but only by 10%
That could be simply reflecting supply shortages of HDDs or their components. However, SSDs have probably been benefiting from a glut of NAND, which probably added some cushion to soak up any recent supply issues.
 

bit_user

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How about when SSD are the same price? Do you think people will still use HDD?
In terms of GB/$, I don't think it'll happen in the foreseeable future.

However, all that's needed is for SSDs of sufficient size to reach near-parity. For gamers, is 4 TB enough? For now, I mean?

HDDs have a price floor, because the base costs of building a drive are fairly constant. So, at the lower capacities, SSDs actually have a price advantage. The main question is just whether that cross-over point increases faster than the storage demands of games.
 

Mr5oh

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How about when SSD are the same price? Do you think people will still use HDD?
Capacity is still an issue as well. Even many "budget" builds include a 2 TB HD to go with a SSD at this point. Once price and capacity are equal, HD sales will decline, with only very limited use cases, perhaps none?

Im at 24 TB of spinning disk right now in my gaming machine (a 10 TB HGST drive, and a 14 TB WD Gold drive), and 1 TB of SSD. So it maybe a while before SSD catches up. Im hoping HD prices keep dropping, I'll upgrade my HGST drive and move it to one of the other machines in the house.
 
For the needs of most systems that are not being used to store lots of bulk data, prices of SSDs and hard drives have already nearly reached parity. The lowest-cost modern hard drives tend to bottom out around $45 or so. That's around half the price of the least-expensive 1TB SSDs, but most systems that won't have large game or video libraries stored on them don't actually need that much storage, so it arguably makes more sense to go with a substantially faster 480-512GB SSD for around $60 or so, or even a 240GB SSD for as little as $35. Hard drives have practically disappeared from new models of laptops at this point. Hard disk storage has pretty much already become something strictly for bulk data and backups, where it still holds a notable price advantage at the larger capacities.
 
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Olle P

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How about when SSD are the same price? Do you think people will still use HDD?
In terms of GB/$, I don't think it'll happen in the foreseeable future.
For the needs of most systems ... prices of SSDs and hard drives have already nearly reached parity. ...
HDDs will most probably stay as the more viable (economical) option when the demands are:
  • Large data storage volume, in
  • few storage units, with
  • long life and significant TBW.
A ~$50 500GB SSD is good enough for day-to-day usage, but shouldn't be relied upon for long term archiving of valuable data.
Any amateur photographer or videographer needs large volumes of storage to hold their works. ~20TB of storage space is still cheaper and easier to install in the form of HDD over SSD.
 
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HDDs will most probably stay as the more viable (economical) option when the demands are:
  • Large data storage volume, in
  • few storage units, with
  • long life and significant TBW.
A ~$50 500GB SSD is good enough for day-to-day usage, but shouldn't be relied upon for long term archiving of valuable data.
Any amateur photographer or videographer needs large volumes of storage to hold their works. ~20TB of storage space is still cheaper and easier to install in the form of HDD over SSD.
For the moment.
 

bit_user

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For the moment.
With regard to his point about archival storage, SSDs are headed in the wrong direction.

SSDs are getting bigger & cheaper, but that's about it. GB/$ is at continual tension with performance and data retention (especially cold storage data retention). Since most SSD users don't care about cold storage data retention, because it's in a computer they use on a daily basis, this area is definitely losing out.
 

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