Thursday, August 30th 2012

Western Digital Shakes off Thai Flood Impact, Retakes Hard Drive Market Lead in Q2

Six months after losing the top spot in the global hard disk drive (HDD) segment due to the Thai flooding disaster, Western Digital Corp. in the second quarter recovered its market lead from chief rival Seagate Technology, according to an IHS iSuppli Storage Space Market Brief from information and analytics provider IHS.

Western Digital produced approximately 71.0 million HDD units in the second quarter, including production from Hitachi GST, a company acquired by Western Digital earlier in the year. Revenue for Western Digital amounted to $4.8 billion—a company record.

In comparison, Seagate shipped 65.9 million HDD units during the same period, with revenue reaching $4.5 billion—also a record in Seagate's books.

"Western Digital lost its No. 1 unit shipment ranking to Seagate in the fourth quarter of 2012 after flooding in Thailand damaged its HDD manufacturing facility," said Fang Zhang, analyst for storage systems at IHS. "The company now has fully recovered from the disaster, allowing it to sharply increase shipments of HDDs for notebook PCs, up 28 percent from the first quarter. Western Digital is on track to retain the top spot in shipments and revenue for the third quarter."

The table below presents the IHS iSuppli ranking of HDD suppliers in the second quarter.

Total HDD shipments for the second quarter amounted to 157.0 million units, up 8 percent from 145.1 million in the first quarter. Western Digital enjoyed the biggest shipments share at 45 percent, followed by Seagate with 42 percent and Toshiba with 13. Total HDD revenue for the second quarter hit $10.3 billion, compared to $9.6 billion in the first quarter.

Seagate, the market revenue leader for most of the time in the past decade, is forecast to sit in the runner-up spot again in the third quarter. Despite its fall to No. 2 in the second quarter, Seagate is the leader in the desktop, enterprise and non-PC segment, such as consumer electronics.

Gross margins continued to remain high for both Western Digital and Seagate, indicating flush results, despite being a small decline in the second quarter.

Western Digital's gross margin of 31 percent was 1 percent lower than in the first quarter, but still much higher than the previous record of 26.2 percent, seen some time ago in the fourth quarter of 2009.

The slight decrease in margin was likely caused by pricing pressure three weeks before the end of the second quarter.

Seagate's gross margin, in comparison, fell to 33 percent, down from 37 percent, but also still in better shape than the pre-flood level of 19.3 percent. Part of Seagate's lower margin was the result of product-specific concerns, such as noise issues in some desktop HDDs as well as contamination problems with some mission-critical enterprise HDDs. Both required a rework on Seagate's part, adding to costs. The company says the matters have been resolved, however, and third-quarter margins should remain in the 30 percent range.

The tussle between Western Digital and Seagate—one of the historic continuing rivalries in the technology industry—is not about to ease up anytime soon. In particular, the fourth quarter will be a tossup, and the industry champion by then will depend on how well each company executes for the remainder of the year, coupled with the market performance of enterprise and consumer PC solutions on which hard disk drives depend.

The third player in the HDD storage segment, Toshiba of Japan, produced 20.1 million HDD units and posted approximately $1.1 billion in revenue in the second quarter.
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25 Comments on Western Digital Shakes off Thai Flood Impact, Retakes Hard Drive Market Lead in Q2

#1
_JP_
So, we gettin' cheaper HDDs or what?
Also, f*** the local market for having low HDD stock (still) and narrowing the choices to 1/2TB, 1TB or 2TB.
Posted on Reply
#2
natr0n
Yet,prices are still somewhat high.

a 1tb drive was average $60 now it's $90-200

They can f off already
Posted on Reply
#3
tacosRcool
were are my low HDD prices then huh?
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#4
Benetanegia
by: tacosRcool
were are my low HDD prices then huh?
In the all time record revenue that both achieved in the same quarter, that's where your prices are.
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#5
Static~Charge
by: tacosRcool
were are my low HDD prices then huh?
In some corporate lard-butt's wallet.
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#6
n-ster
I want some (just like 6-8) WD Reds 3TB but they are OOS everywhere :(
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#7
de.das.dude
Pro Indian Modder
the rates are still double of what they used to be, lower prices or WD and seagate can F off.
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#8
happita
by: de.das.dude
the rates are still double of what they used to be, lower prices or WD and seagate can F off.
Thankfully people like us are not their only target market, otherwise they would be in some deep shit :laugh:
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#9
n-ster
well the 3TB drives for per TB prices isn't that bad compared to the 2TB back then... WD Red 3TB is like 180$? That's 60$/TB, I remember that a good price for a standard 2TB was 99.99$, so it is fair to say 120$ for something premium like the WD NAS drives :p
Posted on Reply
#10
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: n-ster
well the 3TB drives for per TB prices isn't that bad compared to the 2TB back then... WD Red 3TB is like 180$? That's 60$/TB, I remember that a good price for a standard 2TB was 99.99$,
To be honest the prices were INSANELY low. It was the same with memory. I think that time was an exception not the other way round.

I think prices are alright now. 1TB Seagate Barracuda for 685SEK (€85), 2TB WD Green (or 1TB WD Black) for €110, 3TB €150. Not that bad imo.
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#11
D007
I wouldn't call it "shaking off".. Their biggest competitor just had their best year as well. makes me wonder if WD lost some contracts due to production.
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#12
CrAsHnBuRnXp
I just bought a WD Green 2TB hdd for under $100. :clap:
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#13
TheGuruStud
by: CrAsHnBuRnXp
I just bought a WD Green 2TB hdd for under $100. :clap:
Don't forget to disable head parking.
Posted on Reply
#14
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: TheGuruStud
Don't forget to disable head parking.
Why?
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#15
TheGuruStud
by: Frick
Why?
B/c it will park the head after 12 sec (I think that's the new value) of inactivity. So, any time the disk is accessed, then idle, it's going to park. Or if your drive is being polled once a minute (like speedfan or w/e), then the same thing is going to happen - over and over and over.

Before you know it you've racked up 10s to 100s of thousands of parks and the drive dies.
There's a reason the failure rate is so high. The reviews for all green drives are appalling.

I've used them in builds (I have a 2TB EARS myself) just for the price. I have not had any failures and the PCs run pretty much 24/7 (although in my experience, this is the best way to run HDDs, never turn them off).

You can d/l wdidle3 and put it on a bootable flash drive to disable it.

I know, OT, but this info is important b/c a lot of ppl wonder why the drive is dead within a year.
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#16
m1dg3t
How do you get record sales/profits after a "shortage"?

Stop spreading fucking lies! Bad enough the companies are doing it, does it have to be perpetuated by tech sites as well? :shadedshu

This manipulating of consumers NEEDS to stop!
Posted on Reply
#17
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: TheGuruStud
B/c it will park the head after 12 sec (I think that's the new value) of inactivity. So, any time the disk is accessed, then idle, it's going to park. Or if your drive is being polled once a minute (like speedfan or w/e), then the same thing is going to happen - over and over and over.

Before you know it you've racked up 10s to 100s of thousands of parks and the drive dies.
There's a reason the failure rate is so high. The reviews for all green drives are appalling.

I've used them in builds (I have a 2TB EARS myself) just for the price. I have not had any failures and the PCs run pretty much 24/7 (although in my experience, this is the best way to run HDDs, never turn them off).

You can d/l wdidle3 and put it on a bootable flash drive to disable it.

I know, OT, but this info is important and a lot of ppl wonder why the drive is dead within a year.
A coolio. It depends on how you use it I guess. Drives those sizes I generally use just as storage (movies, iso's etc) so 12s shouldn't be that big an issue. Hmm. Is there a way to set a custom time to the parking?
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#18
STCNE
Just had a 500GB WD Green die on me. It was 5 years old but it was only used every 6 months or so as it was a backup drive(and we're lazy :p). About 2 weeks ago I decided to just leave it hooked up to the computer 24/7 as I started using it to store my music on. It worked for a week like that before it died.

It cost 75% more for the replacement 500GB Seagate than we paid for the WD all those years ago. The WD was one of those 'mybook' drives that came with an external enclosure, a USB cable, power cable, software, etc. while the seagate was a bare OEM drive.
Absolutely ridiculous.
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#19
timta2
by: Frick
A coolio. It depends on how you use it I guess. Drives those sizes I generally use just as storage (movies, iso's etc) so 12s shouldn't be that big an issue. Hmm. Is there a way to set a custom time to the parking?
Yes, as TheGuruStud mentioned, you can use Western Digital's wdidle3 program to adjust the head parking timer. You can set it to a max of 300 seconds I believe.
Posted on Reply
#20
_JP_
Yes, I've been reading about this, since I was planning to buy a couple of caviar greens. Thank you very much for the heads-up TheGuruStud, btw.
And I've read that you can disable the head-parking entirely, instead of increasing the time until it parks, by using the /d command.
Posted on Reply
#21
CrAsHnBuRnXp
by: TheGuruStud
Don't forget to disable head parking.
So im trying to disable head parking but the utility that i apparently need to download says:

[Window Title]
C:UsersDesktopwdidle3.exe

[Content]
The version of this file is not compatible with the version of Windows you're running. Check your computer's system information to see whether you need an x86 (32-bit) or x64 (64-bit) version of the program, and then contact the software publisher.

[OK]

Any chance you have a link? Ive tried searching Google but I cant really find anything concrete.
Posted on Reply
#22
suraswami
by: natr0n
Yet,prices are still somewhat high.

a 1tb drive was average $60 now it's $90-200

They can f off already
by: tacosRcool
were are my low HDD prices then huh?
Actually 1TB+ drives are at reasonable price now. You can get a seagate 1.5TB 5900 RPM drive for $70 @ MC and 2 TB for around $100.

So when is Toshiba HDD division going to be bought? and who is going to eat that?
Posted on Reply
#23
_JP_
by: CrAsHnBuRnXp
So im trying to disable head parking but the utility that i apparently need to download says:

[Window Title]
C:UsersDesktopwdidle3.exe

[Content]
The version of this file is not compatible with the version of Windows you're running. Check your computer's system information to see whether you need an x86 (32-bit) or x64 (64-bit) version of the program, and then contact the software publisher.

[OK]

Any chance you have a link? Ive tried searching Google but I cant really find anything concrete.
WDIDLE3.exe only runs in DOS. Boot into DOS and execute the program.
Posted on Reply
#24
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
The costs of HDDs will remain high, the flooding wasn't the only reason prices went up. The cost of materials and labor has gone up dramatically over the past 2 years. Due to prices of HDDs right before the flood, WDD and Seagate were actually losing money on every drive they sold. We got really spoiled a good 6 months before the flood because the smaller guys were on the bring of going out of business(which is why they all were so easily bought up by WD and Seagate). So they were basically flooding the market with cheap drives, causing the market to bottom out.

Basically, hard drive prices are where they are going to stay. But hey, look at it like this, the WD 1TB Black drive was $120 a year ago, and now it is $109. Drives are back to pre-flood prices, they just went too far pre-flood...
Posted on Reply
#25
_JP_
Yeah....I guess I got a bit spoiled. :p
I am in the market for a couple of green drives...they are going to set me back by 150€...and that's a lot for me. : :ohwell:
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