Western Digital snatches hard drive crown from Seagate

Western Digital has leapfrogged its arch rival Seagate for the first time ever to take the top spot in the hard disk drive market, according to number crunchers at iSuppli. The firm shipped a record 51.1 million drives, or 31.3% of the market during the first calendar quarter of 2010, up 3.2% fr

Western Digital has leapfrogged its arch rival Seagate for the first time ever to take the top spot in the hard disk drive market, according to number crunchers at iSuppli.

The firm shipped a record 51.1 million drives, or 31.3% of the market during the first calendar quarter of 2010, up 3.2% from 49.5 million this time last year, while in contrast, Seagate saw a more modest rise of 0.8% to 50.3 million units, or 30.9% of the market.

However, the data show that in terms of total revenues, Seagate is still out in front, making sales of $3.1bn (£2.11bn) to Western Digital's $2.64bn.

"Seagate's larger revenue total is attributed to its serving the high-end enterprise sector, which garners larger financial returns," explained iSuppli analyst Fang Zhang. "In comparison Western Digital employed a lower-cost business model that translated into reduced ASPs and less revenue - but higher unit shipments."

The top five positions were rounded out by Hitachi Global Storage, Toshiba/Fujitsu and Samsung, accounting for 17.6%, 10.7% and 9.5% of the total hard drive market respectively.

iSuppli said that capacity in the market remained tight, but the situation should ease somewhat in Q2 as seasonal shipments drop slightly.

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