About This Statistic
This statistic shows global shipment figures for hard disk drives since the fourth quarter of 2010. In the first quarter of 2011, approximately 161 million hard disk drives were shipped worldwide.
Hard disk drive shipments - additional information
In the third quarter of 2014, a total of 143 million hard disk drives were shipped across the world. This is the highest the figure has been since it peaked at 157 million units in the second quarter of 2012. A hard disk drive (HDD) is a data storage device which is used for storing and retrieving digital information. It is a form of non-volatile memory, meaning that it retains its data even when powered off. The technology was first introduced by IBM in 1956 and it has been the dominant secondary storage device for general-purpose computers since the 1960s. Among the companies that produce the most current HDD units are Toshiba, Western Digital, and Seagate. In 2013, a total of over 551 million HDD units were shipped worldwide, generating revenue of around 32 billion U.S. dollars.
The main competing technology for secondary storage is flash memory in the form of solid-state drives (SSDs). HDDs are expected to remain the most used secondary storage because of a greater recording capacity, a better price per unit of storage, and a longer product lifetime. In 2015, a total of 416.7 million HDDs are expected to be shipped in PCs, in comparison to 153.8 million SDDs. The use of SDDs is nevertheless on the rise with over 227 million units expected to be shipped in 2017, a large increase from the 31 million shipped in 2012. The advantage of SDDs over HDDs is that they are faster, more durable, and consume less power.
Overall, the value of global shipments from HDD vendors stood at over 4 billion in 2013, in comparison to the 1.7 billion from shipments by mainstream non-HDD vendors. This gave HDD vendors a 61 percent share in the worldwide personal and entry-level storage market, whilst non-HDD vendors held a 26.3 percent share.