Analyst at Wells Fargo, one of the largest US financial companies warned on the return of the hard drive market to sustainable growth. Since the first quarter of 2021, HDD sales have been growing steadily, which increases revenue for drive manufacturers and other market participants. This could delay the dominance of SSDs and drive up hard drive prices. At least at the stage of increased demand for drives.
Wells Fargo analyst Aaron Rakers presented a graph of the dynamics of the HDD market since the first quarter of 2005. The graph clearly shows that since 2012/2013, the hard drive market has moved to a distinct stagnation. Everything changed in 2020, which the specialist associated with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. With the start of quarantine measures, the volume of HDD sales began to grow steadily both in unit terms and in terms of capacity.
We already have reports from WDC and Seagate for Q2 2021. There is no Toshiba data yet. Both HDD market leaders reported increases in revenues, profits and platter shipments. This echoes the conclusions of the Wells Fargo expert, to which we can add an increase in demand for HDD from the Chia cryptocurrency miners.
According to the general conclusions of the expert, in the second quarter of this year, a total of 67.7 million hard drives were shipped, whereas a year ago, 58.8 million HDDs were delivered in the same quarter. In the first quarter of 2021, 64.2 million drives were shipped to the market, which also demonstrates a positive trend. Total capacity shipped in the second quarter reached 351.4 exabytes, up 45% year-on-year and 22% quarter-on-quarter.
Revenue of HDD manufacturers in the second quarter rose to $ 6.2 billion – an increase of 20% when compared with last year’s figure, and 18% when compared with the previous quarter. For the entire first half of 2021, the total revenue of HDD manufacturers grew by 6% compared to the first half of 2020. This trend will be observed in subsequent quarters, the analyst predicts, hinting at the attractiveness of the shares of the above companies.
From the consumer side, this news can only mean one thing – the demand for hard drives promises to continue to grow, which will lead to further growth in prices for these products. Since there is no particular competition in this sector, there is no reason to hope for a quick stabilization of prices.