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Will STX’s and WDC’s Hard Drive Shipments Rise in 2017?

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Apr. 12 2017, Updated 7:38 a.m. ET

HDD shipments fell 9.5% in 2016

According to storagenewsletter.com, worldwide HDD (hard disk drive) shipments fell 9.5% YoY (year-over-year) to 424.1 million units in 2016, compared to 468.7 million units in 2015. 

The top three companies in the HDD space are Western Digital (WDC), Toshiba (TOSYY), and Seagate (STX) with market shares of 41.1%, 22.1%, and 36.6%, respectively.

Seagate’s HDD shipments fell 17.8% YoY to 155.0 million units in 2016, whereas WDC’s HDD shipments fell 14.2% YoY to 175.5 million units. Toshiba’s HDD shipments, however, rose 23.5% YoY to 93.6 million units last year.

PC (personal computer) sales in the United States (SPY) are expected to rise YoY in 2017. It’ll be interesting to see whether this rise in sales positively impacts HDD sales over the next few quarters.

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Rise in exabyte shipments

Although HDD shipments fell YoY in 2016, exabytes shipped rose significantly for all the three companies mentioned above. Seagate’s exabyte shipments rose 34% YoY to 252.6 exabytes, followed by WDC’s rise of 31% YoY to 268.1 exabytes and Toshiba’s YoY rise of 11% to 84.8 exabytes in 2016.

Seagate’s CEO, Steve Luczo, stated, “We expect overall exabyte demand to grow double digits in calendar 2017 over 2016. For the March quarter, we anticipate the unit an exabyte demand environment to decline relatively seasonally.”

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