Hard Drive Shipments Fall by 14%

It’s been a long time coming – but it’s looking like the spinning, magnetic hard disk drive might finally be on its way out.

Analyst company Trendfocus have revealed that shipments of hard disk drives (HDDs) has plummeted during the first quarter of 2020. Units shipped are down by around 14% on the final quarter of 2019, and 13% on the first quarter of 2019. Shipments dropped from 77 million units in the first quarter of 2019, down to 67 million units in the first quarter of 2020.

So why have shipments of hard drives decreased? There are a number of factors that can explain this trend. Firstly, computer manufacturers are increasingly utilising solid-state drives (SSDs) in their machines. SSDs offer faster read/write speeds, are less susceptible to physical damage, and are much smaller and more compact that HDDs. The price of flash storage – the type of memory that SSDs use to store data – is also decreasing. Second, the rise of streaming and cloud storage services means users are now less reliant on media being stored on locally a physical device. Third, gaming consoles are experiencing falling demand, and the next generation of consoles – the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X – are both using SSDs. Finally, it’s highly likely that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has played a role in hard drive shipments declining; earlier this year, much of China shut down.

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