According to a new forecast from International Data Corp, one of the major themes affecting the HDD forecast is the shift in demand for HDDs in client devices. While the personal computer (PC) space continues to represent the largest market for hard drives in terms of shipment volume, the actual revenue accounted for these shipments is expected to decline over the next few years.
"In many respects, the hard disk drive industry has collectively hit the 'reset' button. A reset of the HDD industry structure should allow for the remaining HDD industry participants to slowly reduce HDD prices from current levels at a rate that still delivers value to customers, while at the same time ensuring sufficient funding is available to develop new HDD technologies that are needed to improve HDD capacity, performance, reliability, power consumption, and security," John Rydning, research vice president of hard disk drives at IDC.
Many analysts now expect that long-term revenue growth will only be realized if the remaining HDD manufacturers transform their business models into those of "storage device and storage solution suppliers" and support a broader range of products for multiple markets.
Nevertheless, one of the other major themes present in the HDD industry is the increasing rise of affordable Solid State Disks (SSDs) with significant performance advantages over conventional HDDs. While analysts expect NAND flash price-to-storage ratios to decrease over the next few years, the HDD industry will continue to make advances in storage density with new technological improvements such as Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) and other high-stability magnetic improvements.