SAN FRANCISCOWestern Digital Corp., the No. 2 player in hard disk drives (HDD) for the past three decades, shipped a record 51.1 million units in the first quarter to take the top position among storage suppliers for the first time, according to market research firm iSuppli Corp.
Though Western Digital topped nemesis Seagate Technology LLC in unit shipments for the first time in any quarter, the company remained No. 2 in revenue during the quarter, with $2.64 billion, trailing Seagate's $3.1 billion, iSuppli said. Seagate shipped 50.3 million HDDs in the first quarter, iSuppli (El Segundo, Calif.) estimated.
"Despite a second-place finish in shipment levels, Seagate's larger revenue total is attributed to its serving the high-end enterprise sector, which garners larger financial returns,” said Fang Zhang, analyst for storage systems at iSuppli, in a statement.
Overall, Western Digital finished the fourth quarter with a 31.3 percent market share in HDDs, compared with 30.9 percent for Seagate, iSuppli said.
Rounding out the top five firms in HDD shipments, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Ltd. saw HDD shipments increase 13.9 percent in the first quarter to 28.7 million, while Toshiba/Fujitsu and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. registered sequential declines, according to iSuppli.
Zhang said Western Digital and Seagate will continue to battle head-to-head for the top position in HDDs. Which company will hold the top position in future quarters depends on several factors, including product competitiveness in the market, new product offerings, success in maintaining existing business while being able to penetrate new markets and capability to control demand and supply without jeopardizing or losing potential opportunities, Zhang said.
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