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Seagate Reports Flat HDD Shipment Growth

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 23 comments

Seagate has released a preliminary result of its fiscal second quarter 2013, or the fourth calendar quarter of 2012.

 The company said that it shipped about 58 million hard drives during the quarter, resulting in total sales of at least $3.6 billion, down from $3.7 billion in Q3. There was no information on how many drives were enterprise drives and how many units went into the consumer market, but the shipment number was virtually flat with 57.6 million drives in Q3. Seagate said that it believes it maintained its market share, which is about even with Western Digital and right around the 42 percent mark.

Typically, we would expect a noticeable uptick in shipments in the fourth quarter, which was especially true for Q4 2012, since the PC should have benefited from the launch of Windows 8. Seagate's number suggests that the PC industry may not have seen any improvement in shipments over the third quarter. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2011, sales were up sharply from 47 million units, which was impacted constrained supply caused by the Thailand flood.

Like Intel, Seagate is a major indicator of the health of the PC market. It's too early to make any conclusions. For now, we'll have to wait for the detailed results set to be announced on January 28, as well as the Q4 performance of Western Digital, which owns 45 percent of the market, according to IHS.

Compared to a pre-flood Q4 2011 unit shipment number of about 49 million units, the Q4 2012 result does not look too bad, but given the fact that Q3 2012 was already underwhelming - Seagate sold almost 66 million units in Q2 - there may be some concern about the overall PC market, the impact of tablets and hard drive shipments into the notebook market.

 

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  • 18 Hide
    starcraftmazter , January 9, 2013 7:01 PM
    I'm surprised nobody has yet mentioned the ridiculous overpricing of magnetic HDs and the fact that many people are holding out until prices come back down?
  • 18 Hide
    capt_taco , January 9, 2013 7:28 PM
    Stop selling HDDs for double or triple the price they used to be, and people will buy them again. The flooding in Thailand happened like a year and a half ago. Things are back to normal and nobody is falling for that line of crap anymore.
  • 15 Hide
    computerguy72 , January 9, 2013 5:52 PM
    SSD's are starting to impact their overall shipments.
Other Comments
  • 15 Hide
    computerguy72 , January 9, 2013 5:52 PM
    SSD's are starting to impact their overall shipments.
  • 10 Hide
    InvalidError , January 9, 2013 5:53 PM
    While sub-par sales of Win8 may be partially to blame, increasingly attractive prices on SSDs at least up to 128GB likely deserve a large chunk of it as well.
  • -3 Hide
    CaedenV , January 9, 2013 6:26 PM
    And it begins. This year was flat, next year will start to decline, and the following year will have a chart that looks like a cliff.

    To take advantage of even an i3 processor you NEED to have an SSD in your system, and the prices are falling rapidly to the point where even some OEMs are including SSDs as standard fair. In 2 years I expect that every system will have at least a SSD as a system drive, and some systems will start to have SSDs for storage as well.
  • -1 Hide
    confish21 , January 9, 2013 6:48 PM
    Just walk away. Just walk away... Seagate HD reviews.
  • 9 Hide
    icemunk , January 9, 2013 6:57 PM
    Lower prices. They aren't low enough.
  • 18 Hide
    starcraftmazter , January 9, 2013 7:01 PM
    I'm surprised nobody has yet mentioned the ridiculous overpricing of magnetic HDs and the fact that many people are holding out until prices come back down?
  • 1 Hide
    DRosencraft , January 9, 2013 7:10 PM
    Before I jump to conclusion, I would like to see WD's sales. This could be just a shift from Seagate to WD, but that's as far as I'm willing to speculate for now. This was somewhat inevitable. SSDs are just better in terms of performance. But they aren't at the place where storage is beyond question. Large storage SSDs are expensive beyond reason for most right now. At the same time, most people just get bigger HDDs and RAID them wanting better performance. If you can get that performance or better on a single drive, why not? I don't think HDD sales will fall off a cliff, but they certainly will diminish until reaching a level that reflects their new reality. That's going to be tough on Seagate and WD who aren't in the SSD business in a really notable way. At this point they'll need to play catch up if they want to match the likes of Corsair, Intel, Kingston, and Samsung.
  • 3 Hide
    jacobdrj , January 9, 2013 7:27 PM
    Take a look on Newegg or Amazon. What consumer grade hard drives greater than 750 gigabytes have even 4 star/egg reviews? Forget 5 stars, just 4... Unless you look at the server grade stuff, drives over 750 gigs are just not reliable, and have not been since the floods... This was exacerbated by the 1 good HDD manufacturer, Samsung, selling their manufacturing to a different company, who now also producing less than 4 star drives...

    I had a client ask me to recommend them a 2 tb drive a couple weeks ago. I couldn't. Not professionally. Not for a consumer grade drive. I told him to get a SSD, and then get a bunch of cheap drives, and just RAID them, because there was no way he was going to be able to rely on those drives. Period.

    SSDs and poor HDD quality control is to blame, not the death of the PC...
  • 18 Hide
    capt_taco , January 9, 2013 7:28 PM
    Stop selling HDDs for double or triple the price they used to be, and people will buy them again. The flooding in Thailand happened like a year and a half ago. Things are back to normal and nobody is falling for that line of crap anymore.
  • 14 Hide
    dark_knight33 , January 9, 2013 7:32 PM
    capt_tacoStop selling HDDs for double or triple the price they used to be, and people will buy them again. The flooding in Thailand happened like a year and a half ago. Things are back to normal and nobody is falling for that line of crap anymore.


    Exactly This.

    It's time for seagate to "Adjust to the new reality of the market" and lower prices.
  • 4 Hide
    InvalidError , January 9, 2013 8:44 PM
    capt_tacoStop selling HDDs for double or triple the price they used to be.

    Around $100 for 2TB is only about 40% more than the lowest they have ever been, nowhere near double. Considering the amount of precision machining that goes into those, I doubt there is much of a profit to be made manufacturing mechanical drives beyond single-platter below $80 per unit.

    The move to 1-year warranties on HDDs because "drives are so reliable that most failures occur during the first few months" on the other hand bothers/worries me quite a bit. Smells a lot like quality control is slipping. That's one more reason in my book to look at SSDs where the shortest warranties are 3-years with many boasting 5-years and some even going to 7-years.
  • 5 Hide
    jacobdrj , January 9, 2013 8:58 PM
    IMHO while lower prices would be nice, the fact that quality has slipped so far down is the main culprit, followed by the market penetration of the SSD...
  • 0 Hide
    elbert , January 9, 2013 9:24 PM
    While many problems may be impacting hd's. I think its the fact of almost no increased capacity since summer 2010 is causing some problems. With WD just releasing a 4TB many are wonder where has the past increase in capacity gone. My nearly 4 year old 2TB HD has almost no capacity increase replacement. Over a 4 year span I would have been expecting to pick up a 8TB drive. Pryer to 2009 HD nearly double in capacity every 18~24 months. With no major increase in capacity takes almost no though picking up a fast SSD.
  • 1 Hide
    danwat1234 , January 9, 2013 10:14 PM
    InvalidErrorAround $100 for 2TB is only about 40% more than the lowest they have ever been, nowhere near double. Considering the amount of precision machining that goes into those, I doubt there is much of a profit to be made manufacturing mechanical drives beyond single-platter below $80 per unit.The move to 1-year warranties on HDDs because "drives are so reliable that most failures occur during the first few months" on the other hand bothers/worries me quite a bit. Smells a lot like quality control is slipping. That's one more reason in my book to look at SSDs where the shortest warranties are 3-years with many boasting 5-years and some even going to 7-years.

    I bought a Hitachi 5k3000 2TB drive for $70 about 3 months before the flooding!
    Price are still way, wary, way too high. 3TB 5400RPM should be less than $100 by now.
  • 2 Hide
    capt_taco , January 9, 2013 10:16 PM
    InvalidErrorAround $100 for 2TB is only about 40% more than the lowest they have ever been, nowhere near double. Considering the amount of precision machining that goes into those, I doubt there is much of a profit to be made manufacturing mechanical drives beyond single-platter below $80 per unit.


    At the high end of capacity, they've gotten slightly more reasonable. But for your everyday user who doesn't have 2TB of shemale vids or whatever, they're still quite ridiculous. Used to be $49.99 for 1TB, $39.99 on sale. Now it's at least $80 or $90, and you're lucky to get any hard drive for under $60, even the 320-500GB ones. Not a very attractive pricing scheme.

    BTW, they did have a special on Newegg a couple months ago where they were briefly selling 1TB Seagate Barracudas for $49.99 again, so I know they're capable of selling them at a lower price. I bought the max amount, waited 3 weeks, then turned around and sold them for $70 apiece on ebay, which is pretty sad.
  • 4 Hide
    tomfreak , January 9, 2013 11:21 PM
    restore the price to pre-flood levels and restore the standard 3yrs warranty. Else I will not be buying it again.
  • 2 Hide
    flank2 , January 10, 2013 3:37 AM
    I agree, stop the price gouging and sales will return (probably improve)
  • 0 Hide
    InvalidError , January 10, 2013 5:47 AM
    capt_tacoUsed to be $49.99 for 1TB, $39.99 on sale.

    At those prices, I'm pretty sure manufacturers were making losses so it shouldn't be any surprise that they are phasing out low capacity drives and constraining production to bring prices back up. The same thing will happen with DRAM eventually, has it has done many times before.

    When you can cram 2TB/platter, all capacities 1TB or less cost exactly the same to manufacture since they are all using the exact same single-head single-platter physical design so it makes very little sense for manufacturers to bother selling anything smaller and that is how you end up with all drives below 1TB priced almost the same as 1TB. In many cases, they are simply firmware-locking a 750-1000GB drive to whatever lower capacity is ordered.

    This isn't much different from how Intel arbitrarily locks clock multipliers and disables the IGP of dies that could very well have become i5-3570k just to meet demand of i5-3330P... except Intel makes much larger profit margins.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , January 10, 2013 9:53 AM
    starcraftmazterI'm surprised nobody has yet mentioned the ridiculous overpricing of magnetic HDs and the fact that many people are holding out until prices come back down?


    i got a 4tb for 250$... i was mad that it cost 250$ and i had very little choice on who to get it from...

    that said, i doubt that hdds are going anywhere... most people need more than an ssd offeres for space needs, but i dont think that internal drives, at least for home users will ever be the same again, what with external sata and usb3 there is little reason to go internal for the average person.
  • 0 Hide
    InvalidError , January 10, 2013 1:11 PM
    alidanwith external sata and usb3 there is little reason to go internal for the average person.

    Internal drives still reduce desk, loose wire mess, power bar clutter. It also provides the HDDs with better mechanical protection against accidental bumps/drops/yanking, usually better ventilation for cooling and probably cleaner power in most cases. Forgoing the external box and power brick also shaves $15-25 off the total cost.

    So I would say there are plenty of reasons to favor internal for frequently used storage.
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