Western Digital and Seagate’s Hard Drive Performance in 2017



HDD shipments continue to fall for Western Digital

The US-based (SPY) Western Digital (WDC) has a ~42% share of the HDD or hard disk drive market. HDD shipments have been negatively affected in the past few quarters, driven by falling sales in the PC market. In fiscal 1Q17, Western Digital’s shipment of 48 million HDD units reflected a YoY (year-over-year) fall of 6%. Western Digital’s HDD shipments have fallen steadily, from ~65 million units in fiscal 1Q15 to 48 million units in fiscal 1Q17.

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HDD exabyte shipments rose 20% YoY in fiscal 1Q17 for Seagate (STX). The firm shipped 66.7 exabytes of storage in fiscal 1Q17. HDD unit shipments totaled 38.9 million units. Average capacity per drive rose 44% YoY to 1.7 terabytes per drive. This was the tenth consecutive quarter of growth in capacity per drive for Seagate. The ASP (average selling price) was $67 in fiscal 1Q17 and flat YoY.

PC shipments expected to rise in 2017

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

On the company’s fiscal 1Q17 earnings call, WDC CEO Steve Milligan said, “We continued to experience strong demand throughout the September quarter for both hard drive and flash-based products from all categories of customers, largely driven by cloud and mobility based applications, as well as better than expected PC demand and our own outperformance in certain categories. These trends are expected to continue in the December quarter.”


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