Disk drives: shipments up, prices down
What`s bad news for disk drive manufacturers is good news for storage buyers: Prices for hard disk drives have dropped to less than a dime per megabyte -- a trend that should be reflected at the subsystem level over the next few months. Analysts at Disk/Trend Inc., a market research firm in Mountain View, CA, expect drive prices to plummet to less than two cents per megabyte in 2000.
Price erosion is due in part to manufac- turers` excess inventories and to heightened competition. Manufacturers such as IBM and Fujitsu are putting the squeeze on market leader Seagate, and other vendors--includ- ing Quantum and Western Digital--have increased their market shares at the high end of the market.
Meanwhile, drive shipments continue to increase. In 1996, reports Disk/Trend, worldwide shipments of drives reached 105 million. This year, some 149 million drives are expected to be shipped, up from 126 million in 1997.