Even though the early reviews of Microsoft’s new OS, Windows 10, have been positive, the PC market outlook has been downgraded, and the new figure shows the market contracting over double digits in 2015. PC companies are cautiously optimistic about Windows 10, and thus notebook PC build orders have been very conservative to date. Seasonally, computer builds start to ramp up in July as PC companies gear up for back-to-school sales season. This year, however, July’s notebook builds by the top five ODMs declined in July and production fell below 10 million for the fourth time in 2015. Build plans should improve in August, but it may be the case of “too little, too late” for the PC market.
Despite the glum outlook for the PC market, the case for the HDD market is much brighter. There is a solid case for a more robust HDD TAM than the 115 million figure cited by both of the publicly traded U.S. HDD companies’ presidents, Steve Milligan and Steve Luczo. Even in TRENDFOCUS’ conservative model, the HDD TAM is projected to top 123 million, and a more optimistic scenario puts the HDD market potentially over 125 million for CQ3 and close to 130 million for CQ4. The pieces are in place for the industry to surpass what we believe is a “worst-case 115 million TAM” scenario. Even with the bullish CQ3 and CQ4 TAM, the HDD will still fall short of last year – only not as much.