The market research firm estimates that about 652.4 million hard drives were shipped last year. Seagate shipped about 195.2 million units and Samsung about 66.0 million. Seagate will not be able to close the gap to WD right now, as its rival recently acquired Hitachi Global Storage and shipped 203.7 million and 115.8 million units, which resulted in a 50% market share.
The only other player left in the market is Toshiba/Fujitsu, which shipped 71.7 million units and hit slightly more than 10% market share.
"Overall, the reduction from five to three manufacturers considerably improves the stability and efficiency of the HDD industry," said Fang Zhang, analyst for storage systems at IHS. "However, the acquisition also signals a recognition by Seagate and Samsung that conditions in the storage space will become more challenging in the future." The $1.38 billion acquisition of Samsung's HDD unit is widely believed to give Seagate access to Samsung's clients in the Asian market.
"Taken together, the mergers engineered by Seagate and Western Digital will be key to improving the sustainability of the HDD industry, IHS believes, demonstrating the industry's nimble response to fast-occurring
changes playing out in the storage environment," said Ryan Chien, researcher for memory and storage at IHS.