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How Much Will Falling HDD Shipments Impact Western Digital’s Revenues?

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Lower PC shipments negatively impacted HDD demand

According to StorageNewsletter.com, Western Digital (WDC) reportedly shipped ~42.5 million HDD (hard disk drive) units in fiscal 4Q16, which ended on June 30, 2016. This represents a significant YoY (year-over-year) fall of approximately 12.5% over units shipped in fiscal 4Q15.

This decline is a concern for Western Digital, as it has a share of over 42% in the HDD market. HDDs are used in personal computers, and HDD shipments have been negatively impacted in the past few quarters, driven by declining sales in the PC market.

According to StorageNewsletter.com, worldwide HDD shipments are expected to be between 99.5 and 102.5 million units, representing a YoY decline in the range of 7.2%–9.9% for fiscal 4Q16.

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Sales of HDDs have been falling since 2009

Sales of HDDs fell to 469 million units in 2015, as compared to 560 million units in 2009. In 2015, this segment saw a YoY fall of 17% over 2014. The CEO of Western Digital (WDC), Stephen Milligan, stated that “We anticipate that hard drive demand in the June quarter will be slightly down from the March quarter given continued softer PC demand and weaker than expected demand in performance enterprise.”

The top three players in the HDD segment are WDC, Seagate (STX), and Japan-based (EWJ) (FJP) Toshiba (TOSYY), with market shares of 42%, 37%, and 21%, respectively.

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