iSuppli confirms WD leads in hard drive shipments

After stalking Seagate in the standings for years, Western Digital has finally taken the lead in hard drive shipments. An Information Network report linked by DigiTimes a few weeks ago claimed that WD had assumed the top spot, and we now have numbers from iSuppli that concur. According to iSuppli, WD shipped 51.1 million units in the first quarter of 2010, earning it 31.3% of the market. Seagate shipped 50.3 million drives, giving the company 30.9% of the pie. Hitachi sat in a distant third place with only a 17.6% share.

Interestingly, Hitachi showed the strongest sequential growth of the bunch as its shipments rose nearly 14% from the fourth quarter of last year. Western Digital's shipments grew by just over 3% from the previous quarter, while Seagate had to settle for a little less than single-digit growth. Those gains appear to have come at the expense of Toshiba/Fujitsu and Samsung, which saw their shipments fall by 16.7% and 6.6%, respectively.

Despite losing the shipments crown, Seagate still raked in more cash than Western Digital, posting $3.1 billion in revenue to WD's $2.64 billion. iSuppli credits Seagate's greater revenue to success with enterprise-class products that command higher prices than mainstream drives. Seagate does have a much more diverse range of SAS products in its portfolio, including 2.5" and 3.5" mechanical drives with 15k-RPM spindle speeds. Western Digital's enterprise lineup doesn't stretch beyond 10,000 RPM.

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