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Seagate Reports Flat HDD Shipment Growth

 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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  • computerguy72
    SSD's are starting to impact their overall shipments.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    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.
    Reply
  • CaedenV
    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.
    Reply
  • confish21
    Just walk away. Just walk away... Seagate HD reviews.
    Reply
  • icemunk
    Lower prices. They aren't low enough.
    Reply
  • starcraftmazter
    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?
    Reply
  • DRosencraft
    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.
    Reply
  • jacobdrj
    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...
    Reply
  • capt_taco
    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.
    Reply
  • dark_knight33
    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.
    Reply