In a recent blog, my colleague wrote about the current NAND supply tightness and how it may or may not affect SSD supply and price. SSDs are the “hot” topic and are front and center of everyone’s focus – especially since FMS (Flash Memory Summit) starts this week. There have been dozens of articles about SSDs – anything and everything about the astounding growth of the market to how SSD’s superior performance is allowing devices and apps to reach new heights. HDDs on the other had are capturing all the wrong headlines. Everyone seems to be writing off HDDs for dead. As an HDD-lifer, I feel that someone needs to stand up for the underdog. HDDs are not dead and will live for a long time!
Yes, the first two quarters of this year have been very challenging for the HDD industry. Shipments have not been at this level in over 10 years, and the last time a quarterly shipment failed to break the 100 million mark was back in CQ2 2006. So, when WDC guided and Seagate agreed – actually Seagate “didn’t disagree” with WDC’s number, to a CQ3 TAM of 110 million, there was a collective sigh of relief. WDC has been known to be rather conservative in its outlook, so guiding to a 110 million TAM figure means there is a pretty good chance the market will actually end a few million over. However, this positive trend will be short-lived, since the HDD TAM will most likely pull back in CQ4 and then drop off, once again, in CQ1 and CQ2 2017. So, instead of focusing on the bad, HDD’ers should sit back and enjoy every second of this moment because no one knows when this chance may come again.