NEW YORK — The computer-related storage industry suffered a 5% decline in shipments last year, according to a new report from IHS, despite the market for solid-state drives (SSD) nearly doubling.
Blame goes to a decline in hard-disk drive (HDD) sales, which make up the vast majority of shipments in the overall market, and steep losses in the optical disk drive (ODD) segment, according to the report.
Combined shipment units of HDD, SDD, and ODD in 2013 were 755 million units, down from 794 million units in 2012. HDD dropped by 7% from 475.4 million to 444.4 million, compared to a year ago. It is forecast to go down further to 428.1 million units in 2014, according to the report.
ODD shipment declined by 12% from 287.4 million to 253.5 million. Its shipment volume is also expected to decrease to 226 million. However, SSDs have picked up by 82% from 31.3 million in 2012 to 57 million in 2013 and are expected to grow to 85.8 million units this year.
"The storage industry continues to navigate multiple transitions that are affecting each segment’s performance," said Fang Zhang, analyst for storage systems at IHS, in a press release. "The SSD sector is easily the most promising, compared to a struggling HDD segment that remains huge but is still trying to find its footing in a shifting environment, or to the more beleaguered ODD space that now has become irrelevant."
Zhang told EE Times that SSDs continue to grow in both client and enterprise markets, and that they are still in the early stage of their adoption in both markets. He said there is continued demand for SSDs in tablets, datacenters and the cloud. He reiterated that the shipment of HDDs had dropped almost 10% compared to a year ago, but he added the rate of decline has slowed. Enterprise HDD is continuing to grow, driven by content generation and cloud storage, he said. Client PC demand is still weak, which drags down the entire HDD market, Zhang said.
As for ODDs, in spite of continued growth in Blu-ray driven by higher capacity, high resolution, and 4K demand, sales of DVDs used in PCs continue to struggle. The analyst blamed it on the weakness with client PCs. In particular, a growing demand for thinner notebooks forced DVDs out of the systems.
The findings are contained in the report, "Enterprise, Convertibles Lead Storage into 2014," from the Memory & Storage service of IHS. The figures in this study do not include results for non-PC related drives for devices used in automotive, industrial, gaming, or set-top box/DVR.
— Zewde Yeraswork, Associate Editor, EE Times