The recent buyout
by storage maker Seagate of Samsung Technology's hard disk drive (HDD) business will considerably boost the newly merged entity's overall standing, with combined shipments accounting for two-ﬁfths of an HDD market worth 652.4 million units in 2010, according to IHS iSuppli research.
Based on final year-end figures from 2010, HDD shipments tallied from both Seagate and Samsung equated to 261.2 million units?enough to give the Seagate-Samsung combo 40 percent of the HDD market, or a No. 2 finish for the year. Separately, Seagate's shipment share in 2010 showed 195.2 million units, while Samsung?s HDD business brought in 66.0 million units. Without the merger, Seagate?s shipment share of market would have stood at 30 percent, and that of Samsung would have topped out at 10 percent.
Even with the combined shipments, however, Western Digital retains overall market leadership in hard disk drives, the primary storage medium for desktop PCs and most notebook computers. Only one month prior to the Seagate purchase, Western Digital had made its own acquisition
by purchasing Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. Western Digital's shipments of 203.7 million units, together with Hitachi's 115.8 million, coalesced to produce total 2010 shipments of 319.5 million, putting owner Western Digital at No. 1 in the HDD space with 50 percent market share.
With the completion of the two mergers, the HDD battleground has been effectively leveled to just three players, down from five. Left standing far behind in third place is Toshiba/Fujitsu itself the eponymous product of a merger in 2009. Toshiba/Fujitsu had shipments in 2010 of 71.7 million units, or 10 percent share of the HDD market.
Overall, the reduction from five to three manufacturers considerably improves the stability and efficiency of the HDD industry, even though the development also signals the recognition by all players of a more challenging future in the storage space, IHS said.