BELLEVUE, Wash.—Thanks to higher average selling prices (ASPs) in the wake of supply disruptions caused by last year's rampant flooding in Thailand, overall hard disk drive (HDD) sales hit a record $9.6 billion in sales in the first quarter, according to IHS ISuppli.
The rise in HDD revenue occurred even though first quarter shipments declined to 145 million units, down from 174 million units of the third quarter last year, just before the floods forced the closure of several HDD and HDD component manufacturing facilities in Thailand, IHS said. A full recovery to pre-flood shipment levels is not expected until the third quarter, one full year after the disaster, IHS said.
"The ASP will not return to pre-flood levels in the short term and will stay at elevated levels throughout 2012 and 2013, helping the HDD industry make up for some of the losses following the disaster," Zhang said.
First quarter HDD sales topped the previous record of $9.3 billion, set in the first quarter of 2010, IHS said.
Among HDD manufacturers, Seagate Technology had the largest share of revenue at 46 percent, followed by Western Digital Corp. at 32 percent, Hitachi Global Storage Technology at 11 percent and Toshiba Corp. also at 11 percent, according to IHS.
Does this article factor in the growing size of disk drives and the expected economies of scale? Perhaps our unlimited demand for storage capacity is pushing consumers into higher tiers of disk drive capacity faster than the economies of scale drop the price on current technologies. I think we need a graph of price per GB to see whether there is actually an inflection associated with the flood.