Global demand for hard disk drives is slipping and is expected to decrease from 561 million units in 2014 to 550 million units this year and further to 538 million units in 2016. HGST Taiwan and Shanghai general manager Vincent Chen explained the drop is primarily seen in the notebook market, due to a shift towards SSDs as well as declining notebook sales.
Sales of laptop HDDs are expected to fall from 171 million units in 2014 to 161 million units this year and 147 million units in 2016. Volume in the desktop market is expected to suffer a smaller drop from 156 million units in 2014 to 152 million units in 2015 and 150 million units in 2016.
Chen added that global demand for HDDs in personal storage is still rising thanks to growing popularity of mobile terminal devices, this segment is expected to see volumes increase from 80 million last year to 82 million units in 2015 and 87 million units in 2016. Helium-filled HDDs are anticipated to see a rapid rise in the business market, Chen indicates helium-filled disks could account for up to half of all business HDDs sold in 2016 and as much as 80 percent in 2018.
For the business market, HGST predicts demand will remain stable while sales value increases of 1-3 percent and 15-20 percent in storage capacity.
Specifically for business users, HGST launched its first helium-filled HDD model in 2013, Chen noted. Helium-filled HDDs' storage capacity per unit dimension is 33% higher than air-filled models' and therefore such HDDs have lower total cost of ownership, Chen indicated. In addition, helium-filled HDDs are superior to air-filled models in power consumption and reliability, Chen said. As of February 2015, HGST had shipped more than one million helium-filled HDDs with total storage capacity of 7EB, Chen noted.