Blame Tablets for Everything (including Slumping HDD Sales)

What's that you say, there's a weakening in demand for PCs? Blame it on the tablets! Netbook sales are slowing down too? Darn you, iPad! Slumping hard drive sales? It has to be due to slates and their oh-so-fancy solid state storage! Suffering from jock itch? TMI dude, and for the record, that's one thing you can't blame on tablets; we should have stopped at hard drives.

That's right, according to market research firm IHS iSuppli, the emerging tablet market is even having an impact on hard disk drive (HDD) sales. Not that you should feel sorry for HDD makers. IHS iSuppli says revenue for computer HDDs is projected to reach $28.1 billion in 2011, which is 4.1 higher than the $27 billion in 2010, but less than the 7 percent growth rate that took place last year. In other words, revenue for computer HDDs continues to climb, just not by as much if it weren't for those meddling tablets.

"The hegemony of PCs has been usurped as consumers increasingly use tablet devices and smart phones to browse the Internet, download and stream video and share content," said Fang Zhang, analyst for storage systems at IHS. "Tablets in particular are gobbling up consumer dollars originally intended for notebook and netbook computers. And because tablets use flash memory for data storage, rather than HDDs, this has translated into lost sales for the hard drive industry."

It wouldn't be fair to blame it all on tablets, though. Flash memory and SSDs have started showing up in other devices, including netbooks, a trend quite frankly we hope to see continue.