Disk-drive manufacturing giants

Article written by A Tech Inc

Inner view of a hard disk drive Seagate Medalist ST33232ADisk-drives are storage devices that are widely used in desktop computers, networks, and servers. Approximately 600 million disk-drive units worth about $30 billion are sold each year. Major disk-drive manufacturing facilities are located in Thailand which was severely damaged causing approximately $45 billion loss to the industry due to massive flooding during last summer. Major damaged occurred to Western Digital manufacturing facilities while Seagate Technology parts suppliers were affected due to floods.

Seagate Technology, Western Digital and Toshiba dominate the disk-drive industry. Seagate Technologies is domiciled in Ireland but run out of Cupertino, California.

Disk-drive manufacturing industry is consolidating causing fears pricing battles among the giants. Ten years ago there were eight major manufacturers in the industry and now there are only three. In December 2011, Seagate Technology bought No. 5 manufacturer Samsung for $1.4 billion. In the same year, Western Digital bought No. 3 maker of disk-drives, Hitachi. Seagate Technology and Western Digital control 43 percent of the manufacturing of disk-drives.

Disk-drive industry is faced with competition from cheaper solid-state memory. The Apple’s iPad and most of other ultrabooks use solid-state memory technology. Recent decline of PC sales is also a problem for the industry going forward.