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Low-end storage shows continued growth

Personal and entry-level storage market sees 2.9% YoY growth, according to IDC

The PELS market saw 18.6m units shipped in the third quarter of 2013.
The PELS market saw 18.6m units shipped in the third quarter of 2013.

The worldwide personal and entry-level storage (PELS) market grew 2.9%, year on year, with 18.6m units shipped in the third quarter of 2013, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Personal and Entry Level Storage Tracker.

Shipment values were down, year on year, declining 1.2% to $1.7bn.

"The third quarter of 2013 brought continued shipment growth for the personal and entry-level storage market despite comparison with the strong quarter a year ago," said Liz Conner, research manager, Storage Systems.

"In 2012 the third quarter showed very strong growth as the PELS market went into recovery mode after the Thailand floods and resulting hard disk drive (HDD) shortage. The fact that the PELS market was able to build upon this, and show [year-on-year] growth points to the demand for PELS storage and the success vendors have had with newer products, such as higher-speed interfaces, home NAS, portable drives, and business class products."

HDD vendors continue to increase share in PELS units shipped, gaining 1.8 points, year on year, to grow to 74.5% market share. However the entry-level storage market continues to be dominated by the mainstream non-HDD vendors with 68.0% unit shipment market share, down 6.7 points year on year.

Market highlights

The entry-level storage market experienced a decline in unit shipments, falling 9.7%, year on year, based primarily on the 4-bay market. However, the entry-level market saw strong growth in the higher-bay devices (6, 8, and 12 bays), which saw units shipped grow 11.1%, year on year.


In Q3 the personal storage market saw a slight decline in growth for dual-bay products, where unit shipments were down 3.0%, year on year. Single-bay personal storage devices remain the most popular choice, representing 97.2% of the personal storage units shipped in the quarter.

Personal storage represents 99.0% of the PELS units shipped and 88.1% of the shipment value in Q3.

Technology highlights

The 3.5-inch form factor saw a decline of 12.3%, year on year, in units shipped, while the 2.5-inch form factor saw units shipped increase 8.2%, year on year. The 3.5-inch form factor continues to give way to the more portable 2.5-inch form factor, with 3.5-inch losing 3.8 percentage points, year on 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 50.5% of unit shipments in the quarter. For the 2.5-inch personal storage market, 1TB devices captured 55.9% 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 26.1% of units shipped.

USB continues to be the interface of choice for the PELS market, growing units shipped 3.6%, year on year. Ethernet remains the interface of choice for the entry-level market, capturing 96.1% market share. Thunderbolt continues to ramp up, posting a year-on-year shipment growth rate of 308.2%, albeit off a very small base.

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