What Could Help Western Digital’s Hard Disk Drive Sales?



HDD shipments continue to fall for Western Digital

US-based (SPY) Western Digital (WDC) has a ~41% share of the HDD (hard disk drive) market. HDDs are used in PCs (personal computers). HDD shipments have been negatively affected in the past few quarters, driven by declining sales in the PC market.

In fiscal 4Q16, Western Digital shipped 40 million HDD units, which represented a YoY (year-over-year) exabyte growth of 12%. This growth was driven by companies shipping HDDs to data center customers.

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In the company’s fiscal 4Q16 earnings call, Michael Cordano, the company’s chief operating officer, said, “In Enterprise SSDs, we saw strength in sales in both Enterprise and cloud customers. From a client devices perspective, we are benefiting from the growth — growing attach rate of SSDs to PCs in both the commercial and consumer categories even as client HD unit shipments decline year-over-year.”

HDD sales have been falling since 2009

In the above chart, you can see Western Digital’s falling HDD shipments. They’ve fallen steadily from approximately 62 million units in fiscal 1Q13 to 40 million in fiscal 4Q16.

The top three players in the HDD segment are Western Digital (WDC), Seagate Technology (STX), and Japan-based (EWJ) Toshiba (TOSYY), with market shares of 41%, 39%, and 20%, respectively.

PC sales are expected to rise YoY in 2017. It will be interesting to see if this rise in sales will positively impact HDD sales over the next two years.


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