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By | Chris Mellor 4th February 2011 16:08

Toshiba trounces Seagate on mobile drives

Shuffling behind on shipment share

Seagate lost considerable share to Toshiba on mobile hard disk drive shipment, numbers show.

Numbers put together by Aaron Rakers of Stifel Nicolaus show that in the fourth 2010 quarter Seagate shipped 11.8 million 2.5-inch mobile drives (excluding product for consumer electronics applications). This number was 14 per cent down on the fourth 2009 quarter and 12 per cent down on the third 2010 quarter; a pattern of continuing decline.

Hitachi GST shipped 16.3 million 2.5-inch drives in the last 2010 quarter, meaning a 13.2 per cent rise on the 2009 fourth quarter and 3 per cent fall on the third 2010 quarter; it's ahead overall.

Western Digital shipped 17.4 million mobile (notebook) drives in the same period, a two per cent decline on the 2009 fourth quarter but a five per cent rise on the third 2010 quarter; a decent performance.

Toshiba reported a surprising turnabout. Its fourth 2010 quarter mobile drive shipment number was 11.8 million, which was 15 per cent down on the 2009 fourth quarter, but a staggering 25 per cent increase on the third 2010 quarter.

Rakers and a fellow report author say: "We believe the key highlight within these results is the relative underperformance of Seagate’s 2.5-inch mobile shipments in the December quarter."

Overall drive shipments

In terms of overall hard drive shipments in the fourth 2010 quarter, the Stifel analysis has Seagate second with 48.9 million drives, up five per cent year-on-year and three per cent sequentially (compared to the third 2010 quarter.)

Q4 cy2010 hDD shipment share

Hard Disk Drive shipment share history.

First is WD with 52.2 million drives, down two per cent year-on-year and one per cent sequentially. Third is Hitachi GST with 30.3 million drives, up a strong 22 per cent year-on-year and five per cent sequentially.

Toshiba is fourth with an estimated 18 million drives shipped, indicating a 14 per cent fall year-on-year and a three per cent fall sequentially. Its fourth quarter growth in mobile drives did not compensate for its lack of presence in other markets, apart from 1.8-inch drives where it has a virtual monopoly.

The Stifel authors say: "Seagate’s shipment share declined to approximately 58 per cent versus 63 per cent and 60 per cent in the prior and year ago quarters, respectively. HGST’s shipment share rose to nearly 28 per cent, up from 25 per cent and 22.5 per cent in the prior and year ago quarters, respectively; while Toshiba’s share stands at slightly below 13 per cent versus 12 per cent and approximately 18 per cent in the prior and year ago quarters, respectively."

HItachi GST is coming on strongly with stronger drive offerings across most drive market segments. Toshiba is a niche player with no 3.5-inch presence and, as far as we know, no ambitions to be.

Seagate still has a mountain to climb to regain its previous leadership of the industry, and its claims of areal density leadership could be a precursor to that. ®

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