SSD sales almost doubled last year

Solid-state drive sales are growing, but remain a small fraction of global storage market

6 Feb 2014

SSD sales for PCs almost doubled last year, but the overall computer storage industry still shrunk, reflecting the struggling PC market.

Storage sales for computers fell 5% last year across hard disk drives, solid-state drives and optical disk drives, according to IHS iSuppli stats, with total shipments of 755 million globally in 2013 down from 794 million in 2012.

SSD shipments grew by 82%, while HDDs fell 7% and optical drives slid 12%; solid-state drives continue to make up a small portion of the total, however, with only 57 million units sold.

"The storage industry continues to navigate multiple transitions that are affecting each segment’s performance," said Fang Zhang, an IHS analyst. "The SSD sector is easily the most promising, compared to a struggling HDD segment that remains huge but is still trying to find its footing in a shifting environment, or to the more beleaguered ODD [optical disc drive] space that's now become irrelevant."

Zhang said the SSD industry was in "aggressive expansion mode", helped by lower prices and their use in thin laptops and Ultrabooks, as well as in enterprise storage systems.

IHS predicted the SSD market would grow 50% this year, but it will be some time before flash drives overtake hard drives in PCs. Within three years, SSD shipments will top 190 million units, IHS predicted, but that will still represent only half the size of the shrinking HDD market, which is predicted to slide to 397 million by 2017.

IHS chart

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