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Storage market embracing smaller 2.5-inch HDD

Seagate HDD
A Seagate external hard disk drive

The worldwide personal and entry-level storage market has been stagnating with 17 million units shipped in the second half of 2014 according to research analyst firm IDC.

The average revenue per unit increased marginally (just under 3%) to boost the market to $1.5 billion (about £900 million, AU$1.7 billion).

Perhaps a sign of the times, hard disk manufacturers and their subsidiaries have cornered nearly two-thirds of the market, squeezing out mainstream non-HDD vendors.

HDD makers have an unfair advantage as they make the drives themselves and can entertain lower prices while still making a decent margin.

NAS (network attached storage) devices with four bays or more have experienced significant growth while dual-bay products have seen a decline of nearly 10% year-on-year.

The market is also seeing a shift from the 3.5-inch form factor to the smaller 2.5-inch one, fuelled by diminishing price difference as well as power and space efficiencies.

1TB for the 2.5-inch models, along with 2TB and 4TB for the bigger drives are the sweet spot capacities, while USB is the preferred interface at the lower end of the market, whereas Ethernet dominates the upper tier.