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Appeared on: Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Hard Disk Drives Expected to Move Well Beyond the PC Reports In-Stat/MDR

As the PC market matures and the amount of digital content available to the consumer and the desire to store it continues to increase, the number of devices integrating hard disk drives in consumers' homes will explode, according to In-Stat/MDR

As a result, the high-tech market research firm expects that, while hard drives in the CE segment represented about 5% of the total hard drive market in 2003, they will represent about 33% of the market by 2008. With this segment representing a variety of opportunities for storage companies, shipments of CE with integrated hard drives are expected to represent a very attractive 67.1% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) over the 2003-2008 period.

"Hard drive manufacturers are increasingly looking to the Consumer Electronics (CE) market as a strategic segment of their business. While in the past, a typical home had only a PC hard drive, in the future homes will have an increasing number of hard drives, especially in consumer electronics," said Cindy McCurley, an industry analyst with In-Stat/MDR. "At the same time, as consumers increasingly accumulate more music and video content, demand for more drives and higher capacities will increase. In fact, consumers, who may have previously been unfamiliar with hard drive technology, are beginning to consider hard drive capacity as an important factor in their purchasing process."

As hard drives evolve from their traditional 3.5-inch platforms to include smaller sizes, more mobile device manufacturers are becoming interested in integrating hard drives. While other storage options exist, from a price, mobility and capacity standpoint they are not as feasible for many of today's CE devices, especially for those consumers interested in storing video.

In-Stat/MDR has also found that:

-- Today, products using 3.5-inch, 2.5-inch, 1.8-inch and microdrive (1-inch and smaller) hard drives can be found worldwide. The 3.5-inch drives have been most popular because they are the most inexpensive, have high capacities, and they are generally going into larger boxes. However, this is changing, as a larger number of portable products, which require smaller drives, are integrating hard drives.

-- The most notable products in the CE segment, at this time, include several types of PVRs, video game consoles, and portable digital audio players. However, there are a number of emerging markets, primarily mobile devices, which will also represent significant opportunities for storage providers in the coming years.

-- Portable digital music players that integrate hard disk drives are taking two tracks: high storage capacity jukeboxes or smaller, microdrive-based products. These products have become even more popular worldwide in the past year, as many manufacturers are still trying to introduce products to compete with the success of the iPod.

-- Other CE products, including PDAs, GPS devices, digital cameras and camcorders and mobile phones will all begin to integrate microdrives and offer varying capacities. Many of these products will be available in limited models and in limited markets. Products will have to find the right combination of hardware, features and price to satisfy demand from consumers before all models will change components.

The report, "Hard Disk Drives for Consumer Electronics: Beyond the PC" (#IN0401166MI), examines the integration of hard disk drive-based storage in consumer electronics products. It offers worldwide unit shipment and revenue forecasts for the following strategic segments of consumer electronics: PVRs, video game consoles, portable digital audio players, Handheld Audio/Video Players and console audio jukeboxes. Additionally, it examines several emerging product segments, specifically discussing PDAs, GPS devices, digital cameras and camcorders, and mobile phones. Industry trends, opportunities and hurdles are reviewed, and the forecast summary consolidates shipments for the entire market and compares drive sizes and growth of the CE segment as a percentage of the total HDD market. To purchase this report, or for more information, please visit: http://www.instat.com/catalog/Ccatalogue.asp?id=161 or contact Erin McKeighan at 480-609-4551; emckeighan@reedbusiness.com. The report price is $3,295.

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