Skip to main content

HDDs are enjoying a mini-renaissance

Hard Drive
(Image credit: Pixabay)
Audio player loading…

Despite fact that most laptops and desktop PCs now ship with solid state drives (SSDs (opens in new tab)), hard disk drives (HDDs (opens in new tab)) saw a resurgence in sales during the second quarter of this year.

According to a new report from Trendfocus (opens in new tab), Seagate, Toshiba and Western Digital shipped a record of 350.7 exabytes of HDD storage during Q2 2021. However, while Seagate (opens in new tab) retained the top spot, Western Digital (opens in new tab) almost managed to catch up with more than nine percent quarter over quarter growth.

A total of 67.6m HDDs were shipped during the second quarter of 2021 according to Trendfocus' data though Nidec (opens in new tab), which is the world's largest independent producer of hard drive motors, estimates that the industry shipped 64m units during the second quarter though the difference between both companies' figures is currently hard to explain.

One possible explanation is due to the fact that two out of the three largest HDD suppliers do not publish detailed unit shipments while only one publishes exabyte shipments according to Tom's Hardware (opens in new tab).

HDD resurgence

When it comes to the number of HDDs shipped during Q2, Seagate shipped 28.17m while Western Digital came close to its biggest rival in the space with 25.4m units shipped and Toshiba shipped 13.98m. As a result Seagate has a 41 percent market share followed by Western Digital with 37 percent and Toshiba at 20 percent.

In a press release (opens in new tab) detailing how Toshiba's nearline HDDs were able to set new records in Q2, VP at Trendfocus John Chen provided further insight on why demand for HDDs rose last quarter, saying:

"Demand for HDDs, specifically Nearline HDDs, have been on an upward trend due to strong cloud and OEM demand, while the initial launch of the Chia cryptocurrency fueled new incremental channel requirements.”

Although the storage-based cryptocurrency Chia (opens in new tab) helped increase demand somewhat, nearline and enterprise HDD demand was actually responsible for increased shipments of HDDS during the second quarter.

Via Tom's Hardware (opens in new tab)

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.