iSuppli reports plunging prices are squeezing the margins of major HDD suppliers:
The first quarter is often a weak season for HDD shipments, following the peak holiday sales period in the fourth quarter. However, the sequential decline in the first quarter came as a surprise amid strong unit demand from the computer market. The HDD industry shipped 114 million units in the first quarter, falling short of iSuppli's forecast of 118 million units.
"Prices came under pressure in the first quarter due to intense competition and changing demand patterns. The six major HDD suppliers – Seagate Technology, Western Digital, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (GST), Samsung Electronics, Fujitsu and Toshiba – engaged in vigorous competition in the market for mobile-PC storage. All of these companies offered similar products as they attempted to position themselves in the fast-growing notebook PC HDD market," said Krishna Chander, senior analyst, storage systems, for iSuppli.