Average HDD Capacities Continue to Increase

Despite the drop in HDD unit shipments, both sequentially and year-over-year, total capacities shipped by the two leading makers of hard drives increased in Q1. Seagate supplied 55.6 EB (Exabyte) of HDD storage last quarter, up from 54.6 EB in Q1 2015, but down from 60.6 EB in the previous quarter. The total capacity of Western Digital’s HDDs shipped in the first quarter of 2016 was approximately 62.2 EB, a moderate increase from 61.3 EB in Q1 2015.

When it comes to hard drives, one thing that has been growing quarter-over-quarter for a long time now is average HDD capacity, particularly in the enterprise segment, but not only there. In Q1 2016, an average drive could store around 1.4 TB of data, an increase of 28.5% (Western Digital) and 29.7% (Seagate) from the same quarter last year.

Average HDD Price Stays at $60 compared to Q1 2015

Despite the local price hikes by HDD makers, the industry can clearly produce more hard drives than it can consume, which is why prices of mass HDD models remain rather low. This will likely change in the future, when consumers shift to higher-capacity drives because of 4K UHD video or other reasons, but right now an average HDD from either Seagate of Western Digital costs approximately $60.

This will likely change after Seagate implements its plans to cut down its manufacturing capacities and supply-demand balance of the market will stabilize. However, it remains to be seen how significantly that is going to change going forward.

Market Share: Seagate, WD and Toshiba Shipments Market Trends: Client, Notebook, External and NAS all Down
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  • tamalero - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    with the advent of netflix, I actually wonder if its worth expending that much on local storage with a plex/emby server running locally.
    Still, 4 tb drives are now reaching the 100 USD barrier. Which is hella cheap.
    You can easily buy a good array for what used to cost thousands.
  • Wolfpup - Thursday, July 14, 2016 - link

    I don't save much video, but even still I keep some shows from my Tivo, and broadcast TV is a (glorious) 7.5GB/hour or so. And as someone mentioned, comics-I've got GB of stuff from Humblebundle. And we didn't used to have to store our games, since they actually bothered putting them on disc. I've long since surpassed what my 4TB drives can hold, and moved on to 8TB ones just for my games from GOG.com and Steam...
  • Murloc - Thursday, May 12, 2016 - link

    some people systematically rip everything they buy, but it's home cinema audiophiles with projector kind of people. Very rare.
  • bji - Friday, May 13, 2016 - link

    Nothing more disgusting than people who pirate things they don't even need just because they're so in love with the idea of hoarding pirated goods.

    Oh yeah and then they bitch about the cost of the hard drives that they use to store their pirated goods. Truly classy.
  • DanNeely - Friday, May 13, 2016 - link

    If they bought the disk they're not pirating it. The pirates are the people renting disks from Redbox (or old Netflix) and ripping them.
  • Arbie - Saturday, May 14, 2016 - link

    Why exactly is that disgusting? Does pirating something you don't need / won't use / wouldn't have bought hurt anybody at all? Seems like all it does is sell more hard drives. Maybe your post was facetious; if so you need to get a little better at that.
  • Wolfpup - Thursday, July 14, 2016 - link

    Murloc specifically said *BUY*, not seal. I don't even feel like I buy that much anymore, but still have piles of CDs, DVDs, etc.
  • mindless1 - Wednesday, February 15, 2017 - link

    "Nothing"? Really? I can think of thousands of things more disgusting, including your judgemental attitude and the stranglehold that certain content developers are provided in the US and their John Doe persecution of people they don't even have sufficient evidence of piracy against, despite reporting record profits then instead claiming massive piracy losses.

    Supporting those deceitful !@#$ is far more disgusting to me.
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, May 12, 2016 - link

    "but I rarely have anyone ask about how to store even BR-D-quality video, so I'm skeptical that 4K will become a serious driver of increased household storage needs this decade. (At least at the consumer level.)"
    My guess is, people who need you to build them a rig or give them advice, aren't the sort of people into ripping movies in the first place. They are probably fine with tossing the blu ray into their player, hit play, watch it once and then put it in the attic. :D I'm waiting for a more serious shift in prices to get another bunch of 4TB drives for my fileserver (currently 2x[4x2TB] with at 7 more 3.5" bays empty).
  • JoeyJoJo123 - Thursday, May 12, 2016 - link

    Except HDD prices haven't significantly changed in the last 2-3 years, following the normalization of prices after the floods.

    They don't seem to be changing anytime in the near future either; in fact, it may just go up as HDDs die off and exit the market.

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