Worldwide personal and entry-level storage (PELS) shipments declined -13.4 percent year over year to 16.7 million units in the third quarter of 2015 (3Q15), but were up 10.3 percent compared to the previous quarter, according to the International Data Corporation. Shipment values declined along with unit shipments, down -19.8 percent from a year ago to $1.3 billion, notes the research group.

“The personal and entry-level storage market was stagnant in 2014 and started to show signs of decline in 2015,” says Jingwen Li, senior research analyst, Storage Systems, IDC ( “The adoption of cloud storage has been gaining traction in the consumer space with its easy data access and mobile device integration. One of the negative impacts of cloud storage deployment leads to shrinking demand within the PELS market.”

Personal storage remained the dominant component of the PELS market and accounted for over 98% of market shipments. This quarter marked the fourth consecutive quarter of declining shipments for personal storage, which were down -13.5 percent year over year. Entry-level storage, which represents the PELS market segment with higher margins, started to show shipment declines as well, with shipments down -4.5 percent during the quarter.

For personal storage, the majority of shipments were products with 1TB and 2TB capacity points, which combined accounted for nearly 75 percent of units shipped. On the entry-level side, 4TB and 8-20TB devices accounted for the majority of shipments, as SMBs demand larger capacity to meet their storage needs.

HDD vendors continued to dominate the personal storage segment (representing 80.5 percent of unit share) and gained shipment share in the entry-level segment (capturing 23.4 percent unit share). Due to the strong competition from HDD vendors, some mainstream non-HDD vendors (e.g. Lenovo) chose to withdraw from the PELS market and move up to the enterprise space for higher margins.

Regarding interface, USB remained the most popular choice in the market. Dual interface products continued to grow at a double-digit rate (51.8 percent year over year). Ethernet offerings experienced the largest decline in the recent four quarters (-17.6 percent year over year), which was primarily due to the decline in the entry-level space.