iSuppli: Western Digital to Rule the HDD Universe

In the chase for first place among hard drive makers, Western Digital's acquisition of Hitachi should pay off handsomely. Market research firm iSuppli reckons the purchase will net WDC a commanding 49.6 percent share of global HDD shipments, increasing its lead over Seagate (29.4 percent) from just 2 percentage points to 20.2 percentage points. Equally important, the purchase opens the door for WDC into the enterprise HDD segment, iSuppli says.

"The enterprise HDD market garners significantly higher margins than the consumer segment, which makes the enterprise a fast-growing market for HDD revenue," said Zhang. "To date, WDC has largely been absent from the enterprise segment. However, Hitachi GST brings WDC the essential technology, product portfolio and experience required to compete in the enterprise segment."

Image Credit: iSuppli

Hitachi currently offers both 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch HDDs with SATA and SAS interfaces and has plenty of experience in this area. That's a big gain for WDC, and so is the fact that it now dominates a HDD market that could see sales start to dwindle as lower cost, higher capacity solid state drives and flash memory (mobile devices) grow in popularity.