Hard drive shipments stagnate in Q3

Further doom and gloom for the stagnant hard disc drive market, worldwide. 

HDD shipments will grow just three percent in the third quarter of this year. At least it’s some growth – up 165 units from the previous quarter. The problem is the tablet fad, as they generally don’t run your typical HDD, as well as the looming threat of economic woes in the western world. The US and Europe are typically the biggest buyers, but that has really slowed.

Then, of course, there is still the domino effect from the tragedy in Japan earlier this year. At the time, every electronics company in the world claimed it wouldn’t take hold on supply chain too much, but notebook manufacturers saw it as a good time to stockpile HDDs in case of future disruption.

According to Digitimes’ sources in the channel, that has caused a significant sequential comparative base for shipments, which is partly why growth sits at under five percent.

The hope for the HDD market rests, as ever, in the enterprise. Industry insiders hope that as cloud data picks up, manufacturers will be able to ship off more HDDs to prop up the boom and plug the consumer gap.

Distributors earlier this year blamed hot-shots such as Western Digital for dragging their heels on supply, all to keep prices where they want them. A distributor familiar with the situation said at the time, “because of the earthquake, this has all gone wrong and left our customers behind as we can’t supply their orders.”

“Tight supply means cheaper overheads, which means cheaper prices,” our source continued. “To keep up with them smaller companies are manufacturing even less, once again tightening distribution.”