With the arrival of SSDs in the consumer market, hard drives are no longer the choice of many users. Although its main selling point was the notorious price difference, being cheaper than SSDs. But these days, the differences are not so noticeable when it comes to pricing, and that is because SSDs are now accessible to all users instead of being a prohibitively expensive component.
This has caused a drop in demand for hard drives and, therefore, a historic collapse in their shipments, as numbers have fallen by 33% during the Second Quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2021.
Hard drives have been considered a cheap alternative to get a large storage capacity for a low price. We thus have the possibility of acquiring a 1 TB capacity hard drive for $40, while a 1 TB SSD would cost us between 80 and 90 US dollars. The difference is barely half, but you also have to consider that an SSD makes a PC run applications instantly, while an HDD takes seconds to perform operations.
In this way, hard drives are already more focused on bulk storage by data centers or Cloud storage, though hosting servers also come with different SSD packages these days.
45 Million Hard Drives In Q2-2022 Vs. 651 million in 2010
Hard drives have been increasing in density and offering drives with higher capacities (Western Digital recently announced 26TB HDD) at a relatively low price. However, this does not seem to have been enough since these have suffered a tough loss in sales.
The sector that has suffered the most without a doubt is 2.5″ hard drives focused on typical SFF (Small Form Factor) PCs & laptops as they are easily replaceable by 2.5″ SSDs. 5″ in SATA format.
This has experienced a drop of 40% quarter-on-quarter, from the quarter before this, reaching only 11 million units. Here we see a clear dominance of flash-based storage, such as SSDs, which also decrease in size in the M.2 formats, making them perfect for ever thinner and lighter portable devices.
Another less important cause is the Chia cryptocurrency, which caused a stir when it was launched, significantly increasing the sale of hard drives.
The mining of Chia Coin created a shortage of hard drives and caused companies like Seagate and Western Digital to increase their production. However, while the cryptocurrency reached a value of $1,600 in May 2021, it is now only worth $41.
With that being said, an additional 5 to 10% reduction is also expected for the third quarter of this year. For this reason, the prices of SSDs are increasing, and they are the preferred option for customers who want to enjoy greater speed on their devices.
Given the difficult economic situation we are going through in terms of inflation coupled with readily available fast storage mediums like Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus M.2 SSD, hard drives do not have the same priority as before, and shipments will follow the downtrend from onwards.
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Sajjad Hussain is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Tech4Gamers.com. Apart from the Tech and Gaming scene, Sajjad is a Seasonal banker who has delivered multi-million dollar projects as an IT Project Manager and works as a freelancer to provide professional services to corporate giants and emerging startups in the IT space.
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