Larger hard disk drive (HDD) sizes are proving more popular than ever as vendors drop distributor sell prices across Europe, according to market analyst Context.
Figures released this month by Context reveal that SATA units with 500GB capacity were the biggest-selling 3.5in internal HDDs in September across the three largest European Union nations – Germany, UK and France.
Furthermore, 500GB has increased its lead on the number two size, 250GB, by five percentage points to 29 per cent market share by volume, the analyst firm reported.
“OEM vendors seem to have transferred cost reductions to the channel, by dropping distributor sell prices, which in turn has facilitated adoption of 500GB and 1000GB technologies, illustrated by soaring distribution sales in this segment,” said Alexandre Mesguich, a senior analyst for the storage and networking markets at Context.
Context’s research also shows that 250GB sales in September fell from 20 per cent of the total in August to 18 per cent in September. The 160GB size was next most popular, with a 16 per cent share.
The share of 1000GB sales also fell from 11 per cent in August to nine per cent in September, according to Context.
The Average Selling Price (ASP) for 500GB 3.5-inch internal SATA HDD has also dropped, meaning larger volumes must be sold for margins to be made.
“The ASP has declined constantly since June, reaching 42 Euros exclusive of tax in September,” Mesguich reported.
A similar trend was registered by the 1000GB category, with ASP declining to 90 Euros [per unit] excluding tax in September, compared to 95 Euros and 116 Euros in August and July respectively, he said.
“Pricing will continue to drop and we expect further growth in the fourth quarter of 2008 for 500GB and 1TB capacity,” Mesguich said.
Context’s results are in accord with those of IDC, which in August reported that strong demand for high-capacity storage drives had pushed the EMEA HDD market to grow 19 per cent in the second quarter of 2008.
IDC’s figures include external hard drives and enterprise external arrays as well as additional demand from growth in set-top box and automotive application sales.
Mobile-class units for laptops and the like growing 51 per cent year on year and being the biggest driver of the 27.3m units sold to make up the HDD market overall, IDC said.
IDC's programme director for EMEA HDD research, Claus Egge, said the HDD market showed had shown continued resilience so far.
“PC and external disk array markets have continued strong unit consumption fuelled by demand from both businesses and consumers,” Egge said.
“At the same time, the growth of external HDD drives and specialist automotive applications as well as the almost insatiable demand for higher storage capacities in all customer segments have been the foundation of strong 2008 growth.”
EMEA-based OEMs experienced particularly strong growth in the second quarter, with sales up 31 per cent year on year to nine million units, followed by local OEMs , which grew 20.7 per cent to 5.8m units.
Distribution was in third place but still grew 10.5 per cent to 12.5m units across EMEA in the second quarter, according to IDC.
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