The worldwide personal and entry-level storage (PELS) shipments remained flat year over year in 2014, finishing the year with 75.7 million units, according to the IDC ( research group.

Annual shipment values were down -1.5% year over year to $6.6 billion. Unit shipments were down slightly in the fourth quarter (4Q14), declining -0.9% from a year ago to 20.5 million units, while 4Q14 shipment values were also down, declining -5.2% to $1.7 billion.

“The personal and entry-level storage market finished 2014 flat, despite strong growth during the previous quarter,” says Jingwen Li, research analysts, Storage Systems, IDC. “The entry-level portion of the market showed consistent growth throughout the year, but it remains too small to drive growth for the entire market. The largest market segment, personal storage, fell victim to continued price declines, increased competition from public cloud providers, and a shift in consumer preferences towards online streaming media.”

For the fourth quarter of 2014, HDD vendors continued to increase their share in PELS units shipped, gaining 1.7 percentage points year over year to grow to 80.2% market share. Although the entry-level storage market continued to be dominated by the mainstream non-HDD vendors, with 42.1% unit shipment market share, their market share continued to shrink by 17.6 points year over year. HDD vendors, on the other hand, gained 14.8 percentage points from a year ago to represent 30.8% of the entry-level market shipments.

Personal storage represented 98.7% of PELS unit shipments and 87.1% of the market value in 4Q14. Entry-level storage represented 1.3% of the unit share and 12.9% of the shipment values in the PELS market.
USB remained the interface of choice for the PELS market and Ethernet remained the interface of choice for the entry-level market. Shipments of Thunderbolt-only offerings were down -5.7% year over year in 4Q14, which represents the first time this technology has experienced a decline. Dual interface products grew at a significant rate of 10.7% year over year, albeit off a small base.

End users continued to migrate to higher capacity points to meet storage needs. In the 3.5″ market, 4+ terabyte (TB) devices crossed the 30% mark for the first time, accounting for 33.3% of all shipments in the quarter.