In a recent news conference, Seagate and Western Digital both discussed their vision of future development. Western Digital are predicting a decline in sales volume and revenue across their range of hard disk drives. Seagate are forecasting that their revenue will however stay stable. Although hard disk drive sales for use in PC’s and mission critical system have declined, this is offset by their enterprise and specialised products.
With Western Digital’s acquisition of SanDisk earlier in the year, they are clearly putting a major stake into the future of SSD devices, helping SanDisk with the transition to 3D NAND technology, in a bid to compete against Samsung. This partnership is felt essential for gaining a long-term competitive advantage over their rivals.
Seagate are however more optimistic, especially at the enterprise level market, where they have already seen a strong uptake of their latest drives. They are in fact struggling to keep with up the required supply rate for the highest capacity drives, such is the demand for new storage space by cloud service providers.
Seagate also announced their development of Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) is progressing to such an extent, that it will allow a 30 to 40 percent increase in capacity. The technology could already be marketed, but to ensure a competitive price it is likely to be anything up to a couple of years before it is released. This will largely be driven by the market demand for drives such as a 12TB hard disk.