MANHASSET, N.Y. In a reversal of recent trends, hard disk drive prices rose during the first quarter of 2005, according to iSuppli Corp.
The market research firm said in a report that hard drive makers Seagate Technology LLC, Western Digital Corp., and Maxtor Corp. all raised their average selling prices. Seagate raised its ASP $3 to $79, Western Digital went up $1 to $60, and Maxtor went up $4 to $75, the report noted.
The price increases runs counter to the current wave of price erosion affecting other components, and reverses periodic price declines that have cut disk drive makers' margins in recent years.
Several factors account for the rising drive prices, said iSuppli.
For one, shortages of next-generation enterprise drives exist as manufacturers are still ramping up capacity of those products. A scarcity of media, such as glass and aluminum substrates, used to store data on hard drives is another factor.
A greater mix in the product lines of hard drive vendors is also driving up prices, said iSuppli.
More consumer electronics products are using hard disk drives. JVC Corp. of Japan has begun to equip digital camcorders with hard disk drives, and even mobile phone suppliers are considering tiny disk drives for next-generation products.
These trends are prompting vendors to shift production resources away from the mainstream desktop computing market. For instance, Western Digital, long conspicuously absent in the portable drive market, introduced a 2.5-in. drive last October to keep up with rivals that have been bolstering portable drive offerings. >
Although PC OEMs increasingly compete with other OEMs for the output of hard drive vendors, they still command the lion's share of hard drive sales, according to iSuppli.