PC HDD shipments are expected to decrease by almost 50% in 2019

HDDs are losing to SSDs in the PC market

HDD shipments are expected to decrease by almost 50% in 2019

PC HDD shipments are expected to decrease by almost 50% in 2019

With the pricing of SSDs falling, the market for mechanical hard drives is set to decline, especially within the consumer PC market, where demand is expected to drop by almost 50% YoY in 2019. 

Lower pricing, in combination with the lower power draw and improved performance characteristics of solid-state storage, will allow SSDs to significantly increase its market share within the consumer PC market, relegating mechanical storage to secondary storage applications. Lower demand for current-generation consoles will also decrease the need for consumer-level 2.5-inch hard disk drives. 

In 2019, the overall demand for HDDs is expected to drop from 376 million units in 2018 to 309 million units, with 2020 seeing further drops to 290 million. This data comes from a recent Nidec presentation.   

Sales for external hard drives are expected to remain stable thanks to their price/capacity ratio. In the coming years, data centre HDD sales are expected to increase, with cloud data storage and other aspects of the server market becoming increasingly storage reliant.

HDD shipments are expected to decrease by almost 50% in 2019  

While HDDs still have a place within the PC market, the era where HDDs shipped inside every notebook is coming to a close, as the storage needs of most individuals are easily met by a medium-sized SSD. Online streaming services have reduced the need for devices with terabytes of onboard storage, making notebooks with 256GB SSDs a lot more palatable than they once were, especially after the performance benefits of SSDs are considered. 

Over the past few years, we have seen most HDD companies focus on their enterprise-grade models, as the market for consumer-class HDDs is decreasing year-over-year. The data centre section of the HDD market is the only area that is seeing growth during this period of decline, which is why we are seeing hard drive R&D getting focused on datacenter-oriented features and design changes. 

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