The FINANCIAL -- 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," she added.
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.
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, according to IDC.
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, according to IDC.