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Worldwide Personal & Entry Level Storage Market Sees Seasonal Shipments Decline in the First Quarter of 2014, According to IDC

The worldwide personal and entry-level storage (PELS) market was down -6.9% year over year with nearly 19 million units shipped in the first quarter of 2014 (1Q14), according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Personal and Entry Level Storage Tracker. Shipment values declined along with unit shipment, down -3.9% from a year ago to $1.7 billion.

"The personal and entry-level storage market finished the first quarter of 2014 with 18.9 million units shipped. While shipments declined compared to the first quarter of 2013, this decrease is not an indication of market weakness but rather an unfavorable comparison with the unusually high shipments seen in 2013 in the aftermath of the HDD shortage and subsequent recovery," said Liz Conner, Research Manager, Storage Systems. "Moreover, not all segments of the market were in decline in the first quarter. The entry-level portion of the market, which primarily targets SOHO and SMB customers, experienced double-digit growth. Increased vendor offerings, continued inclusion of enterprise level storage features, improved customer understanding/marketing, and average selling prices that more closely align with personal storage than enterprise storage all contributed to growth in this segment."

Hard disk drive (HDD) vendors continue to increase their share of PELS units shipped, gaining 2.4 points year over year to 78.7% market share. Although the entry-level storage market continued to be dominated by mainstream non-HDD vendors with 53.6% unit shipment market share, this market share was down 17.5 points year over year.

Market Highlights

  • The entry-level storage market experienced significant growth in unit shipments this quarter, up 14% year over year, based primarily on the 4-bay market. The entry-level market continued to see strong growth in the higher bay devices (5, 6, 8, and 12 bays), which saw units shipped grow 22.5% year over year.
  • In 1Q14 the personal storage market saw a decline in shipments of dual-bay products, which were down -8.6% year over year. Single-bay personal storage devices remained the most popular choice, representing 97.2% of the personal storage units shipped in 1Q14.
  • Personal storage represents 98.9% of the PELS unit shipped and 86.7% of the shipment value in 1Q14.

Technology Highlights

  • Form Factor – The 3.5-inch form factor saw a decline of -9.9% year over year in units shipped, while the 2.5-inch form factor also saw units shipped down -5.9% year over year. The 3.5-inch form factor continued to give way to the more portable 2.5-inch form factor, with 3.5-inch losing 0.8 percentage points of unit market share year over year in 1Q14.
  • Capacity Range – End users continue to migrate to higher capacity points to meet storage needs. In the 3.5-inch personal storage market, 2 terabyte (TB) devices represented 47.3% of unit shipments in the quarter. For the 2.5-inch personal storage market, 1TB devices captured 56.1% market share. For the entry-level market, capacity ranges are more varied due to multiple bays and vendors' ability to partially populate devices. However, 4TB devices hold the most market share with 25.1% of units shipped.
  • Interface – USB continued to be the interface of choice for the PELS market, although units shipped were down -6.7% year over year in 1Q14. Ethernet remained the interface of choice for the entry-level market, capturing 93.8% of market share. Thunderbolt continued to ramp up, posting year-over-year shipment growth of 25.1%, albeit off a very small base.

Worldwide Personal and Entry-Level Storage Shipment Value, Market Share, and Year-Over-Year Growth, First Quarter 2014 (shipment value in $M)

Vendor Type     1Q14 Shipment Value     1Q14 Market Share     1Q13 Shipment Value     1Q13 Market Share     1Q14/1Q13 Growth
HDD Vendors     $1,165     67.2%     $1,127     62.5%     3.3%
Mainstream non-HDD Vendors     $363     20.9%     $466     25.8%     -22.1%
Others     $207     11.9%     $211     11.7%     -2.3%
Total     $1,735     100.0%     $1,805     100.0%     -3.9%

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Personal and Entry Level Storage Tracker, May 2014


  • The PELS market includes storage products and solutions with a single bay through twelve bay configurations that are manufactured and marketed for individuals, small offices/home offices, and small businesses.
  • IDC defines Personal Storage as having 1-2 bays and Entry-Level Storage as having 3-12 bays.
  • IDC defines an HDD vendor as a vendor who manufactures their own hard disk drive, in addition to branded external storage.
  • IDC defines a Mainstream non-HDD vendor as a major PELS vendor who does not manufacture its own hard disk drives.
  • Data for the PELS market is reported for calendar periods.

For more information about IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Personal and Entry Level Storage Tracker, please contact Liz Conner ([email protected]).

About IDC Trackers

IDC Tracker products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research processes, IDC's Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly excel deliverables and on-line query tools. The IDC Tracker Charts app allows users to view data charts from the most recent IDC Tracker products on their iPhone and iPad.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. In 2014, IDC celebrates its 50th anniversary of providing strategic insights to help clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com.

All product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

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