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C1Q 2022 Hard Disk Drive Industry Update

The data is in for the C1Q 2022 HDD shipments and let’s see what happened from the latest Digital Storage Technology Newsletter.

Total HDD shipments in CQ1 2022 were down 13.6% compared with CQ4 2021 (52.8M versus 61.1M). Total exabytes shipped in CQ1 2022 were down by 3.6% from CQ4 2021.

Notebook HDD shipments are estimated to be down about 20% from the prior quarter while desktop HDD shipments are down by about 13% Q2Q. CE HDD shipments are estimated down about 17% while branded shipments were down about 13% Q2Q. High performance enterprise HDDs were down about 31% while near line enterprise HDDs were down by abut 8% Q2Q.

3.5-inch HDDs are estimated to be down about 8%, Q/Q. 2.5-inch HDDs decreased by about 22% Q2Q.

Here are the actual reports from Seagate and Western Digital for C1Q 2022. Seagate said that they shipped 132.7EB of mass capacity hard disk drives with 117.5EB of this being in nearline HDDs. They shipped 21.5EB of legacy HDDs. The average drive capacity of mass capacity HDDs was 10.9TB and the average drive capacity for legacy HDDs was 2.0TB. Seagate’s overall capacity shipped was 154.2EB with an average capacity per drive of 6.7TB. Seagate’s HDD revenue in the quarter was $2,565M. The company is ramping its 18 TB and 20TB nearline HDDs. Some companies are using SMR to achieve 22TB on these drives. Seagate also said that their HAMR drives are still in customer qualifications. I have also heard that Seagate MACH 2 dual actuator drives are shipping.

In Seagate’s earnings call, Dave Mosley said, “I’m delighted to report that we are shipping 20-plus terabyte products in high volume and expect unit shipments to more than triple quarter over quarter in F Q4 to well over 1 million units. This puts us on a pace for the company to achieve crossover with 18-terabyte drives early in the new fiscal year.” And, “With more than half of our cloud business currently covered under long-term agreements, we have visibility to healthy cloud demand into the back half of the calendar year.”

Western Digital reported that their C1Q 2022 total HDD EB shipments increased by 1% from the prior quarter. They also said that shipped client compute units were 5.7M, consumer shipped HDD units were 4.4M and data center (cloud) HDD unit shipments were 9.7M. Western Digital said that their ASP in the quarter was $101 (up from $97 in the prior quarter). Cloud storage represented 40% of Western Digital’s revenue in the quarter.

David Goeckeler of WDC said, “Robust demand in the cloud end market for 18- and 20-terabyte drives generated a nearly 40% increase in nearline revenue from the same period last year. Of note, our 20-terabyte drive exabyte shipments approached high single-digit percentage of total capacity enterprise shipments. During the quarter, qualification of OptiNAND-based hard drives progressed as planned across multiple cloud and OEM customers.”

There was a 4.8% average sales price (ASP) increase from C4Q 2021 to C1Q 2022. The multi-year ASP trends are shown in the image below. The ASP increase in CQ1 2022 was due to ASP increases at both Seagate and WDC. In general, the increase in the percentage of more expensive mass storage enterprise HDDs has led to an HDDs ASPs since 2015, as legacy applications (e.g. storage for PCs and high performance enterprise HDDs have lost ground to SSDs).

The table below shows estimated C1Q 2022 drive numbers by company and application. Note that units are in millions.

The next table shows C1Q 2022 estimated Exabytes shipped by company and general application. Note that Toshiba and WDC did not break out data on Other Mass storage after C1Q 2021, so this data is understated.

The next image shows C1Q 2022 HDD market share (by units). Note that Toshiba has dropped about 2% from the C4Q 2024 market share, with Seagate and WDC market share increasing.

Total HDD shipments in CQ1 2022 were down 13.6% Q2Q. Total exabytes shipped in CQ1 2022 were down by 3.6% Q2Q. ASPs increased by 4.8% Q2Q, driven by sales of higher capacity mass storage HDDs, particularly for nearline applications. Seagate and WDC reported shipments of 18 and 20 TB HDDs. Toshiba lost 2% unit market share to Seagate and WDC.