The worldwide personal and entry-level storage (PELS) market grew 73.4% year over year with 20.2 million units shipped in the first quarter of 2013 (1Q13), according to the IDC research group (www.idc.com).
Shipment value experienced growth of 54.1% year over year to $1.8 billion. This is the second consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth in worldwide shipment value.
"The first quarter of 2013 brought strong shipment and revenue growth as well as continued recovery to the personal and entry-level storage market," says Liz Conner, senior research analyst, Storage Systems, IDC. "A year after the PELS market saw record declines due to the Thailand floods and resulting hard disk drive (HDD) shortage, the PELS market has recovered back to pre-flood levels. Continued end user data growth, increased awareness on the need for data storage/back-up, declining average selling prices, and evolving vendor product offerings have all attributed to the recovery in the PELS market."
HDD vendors continue to increase share in PELS units shipped, gaining 14.7 points year over year to grow to 76.1% market share. However the entry-level storage market continues to be dominated by the mainstream non-HDD vendors, who saw unit shipments shares increase 3.5 percentage points year over year to 70.8% market share.
The entry-level storage market continued to grow with unit shipments growing 1.2% year over year. Specifically, the entry-level market saw strong growth in the higher bay devices (6, 8, and 12 bays), which saw units shipped grow 38.2% year over year.
In 1Q13 the personal storage market saw good growth in dual-bay products, where unit shipments were up 43.6% year over year. Single bay personal storage devices remain the most popular choice, representing 96.8% of the personal storage units shipped in 1Q13. Personal storage represents 99.1% of the PELS units shipped and 89.8% of the shipment value in 1Q13.
Both 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch form factor saw units shipped increase 56.0% and 79.7% year over year, respectively. However the 3.5-inch form factor continues to give way to the more portable 2.5-inch form factor, with the 3.5-inch losing 2.6 percentage points year over year.
End users continue to migrate to higher capacity points to meet storage needs. In the 3.5-inch personal storage market, 2TB devices represented 49.9% of unit shipments in the quarter. For the 2.5-inch personal storage market, 1TB devices captured 50.6% 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 28.3% of units shipped.
USB continues to be the interface of choice for the PELS market, growing units shipped 76.4% year over year. Ethernet also saw strong shipment growth, posting a 68.8% year over year growth rate and being the interface of choice for the entry-level market. Thunderbolt continues to ramp up, posting a year-over-year shipment growth rate of 5102.7%, albeit off a very small base.