According to analysts trend focusThe total capacity of hard drives released in 2021 increased by 31% and reached 1.34 ZB (billion TB). Neither semiconductor shortages nor pandemic-related general supply disruptions prevented the positive momentum.
The pandemic that started in 2020 had a significant impact on the electronics market, but manufacturers managed to overcome the problems and create opportunities for a quick transition to remote work and online learning. In 2020, the global HDD industry delivered over 1 Zbyte of total storage capacity for the first time. Therefore, further growth of the industry in 2021 seems logical: Cloud infrastructure continued to grow and corporate customers increased spending on IT products. On the one hand, ordinary users continued the trend of abandoning hard drives in favor of solid state drives, on the other hand, the demand for data storage systems increased, and the volume of HDD shipments in production units did not change dramatically over the year.
The lion’s share of demand in the HDD market came from corporate customers who purchased 69% of all products or 928 EB, and this is the most of all HDDs shipped in 2019, just 2 years ahead of the reporting period. According to Trendfocus, the hard drive market will grow by 23% CAGR in terms of data volume in the coming years, and even by 30% in the enterprise sector.
Despite the overall supply chain challenges, the highly competitive HDD industry managed to bring its gross margin back to its 30% target with just three suppliers. Hard drive prices are not expected to fall any time soon – prices will stay the same or rise as manufacturers face rising costs in the current environment that consumers have to bear.