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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  • Michael Bay - Thursday, May 12, 2016 - link

    Just how many games do you have to download to hit a terabyte?
    I do backup my games on an external HDD, and there are maybe 400GB for something like a hundred of titles!
  • Wolfpup - Thursday, July 14, 2016 - link

    My library long since outgrew my 4TB drives...though thankfully still fits inside 8TB (I think...I'm not done redownloading it ahead of the caps...)
  • olderkid - Thursday, May 12, 2016 - link

    I think the fact that you download a TB of games a month negates worrying about adding a wife and kids....
  • maximumGPU - Thursday, May 12, 2016 - link

    i lol'd!
  • FunBunny2 - Thursday, May 12, 2016 - link

    yeah, cruel.
  • Gothmoth - Thursday, May 12, 2016 - link

    wife and kids are useless.

    get a fuckfriend and live happy.....
  • azazel1024 - Friday, May 13, 2016 - link

    I suspect with that espoused belief, your desired goal is likely not achievable.

    But go get 'em tiger. Live the dream.

    On caps, any on a wire is stupid, but at least with a 1TB cap, that would be pretty hard to hit (without 4k video) for probably 99.9% of people. I know I am not the heaviest of heavy users, but my entire family of 5 hits around 500-600GB a month. That is about 7hrs per day of Netflix streaming between all 5 family members, though realistically it is a mix of Youtube minecraft videos, some Netflix, PBS kids, the rare game download, etc and probably working out to an average 2hrs per person per day.

    I am sure if we cut the cord entirely it would go up even more, but probably still pretty comfortably under 1TB. I am absolutely not advocating that caps are reasonable. I feel like it isn't unreasonable to say that there should be SOME super high cap, especially if the point is it is a residential connection and not supposed to be running a business, "servers", etc. The data does cost your ISP something if it goes outside their network, even if we are talking a penny a GB, so I don't think it is unreasonable to say that pushing/pulling something like 30TB of data a month is "okay", but your typical even 1TB cap is just stupid.
  • Wolfpup - Thursday, July 14, 2016 - link

    That little? I use about that much on months I'm not downloading much just for mostly myself, and I could go MUCH heavier on the streaming video..
  • Wolfpup - Thursday, July 14, 2016 - link

    *rolls eyes*
  • Wolfpup - Thursday, July 14, 2016 - link

    Yeah, I've been redownloading my library the past few months and using like 2TB+.

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