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Just Like Old Times Again

CQ4 is history, and preliminary results have starting rolling in. All the data suggests that PC sales were better than expected, and unit shipments were up sequentially in CQ4. This fueled ODM builds and HDD shipments, as both segments posted flat to higher results, too. Although these markets are seasonally more robust in the second half of the year, there was a collective sigh of relief at the end of 2016. Coming off of two dismal quarters in CQ1 and CQ2, not many in the industry expected such a healthy rebound. If anything, companies were bracing for what could have been a record low year. Some of the most negative outlooks pegged the PC market to contract double digits Y-Y, and HDD shipments to fall below 400 million. As it turned out, the PC market was down, but only 5-6%, and HDD sales easily broke the 400 million barrier. The markets should pull back in CQ1 and CQ2, but with any luck, there will be a repeat of 2016 this year – just like old times.

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