WD outships Seagate as hard drive prices remain low

The numbers are in, and according to PC Magazine, Western Digital shipped more hard drives than its rival Seagate in the fourth quarter of 2010. At the same time, the publication says Seagate managed to pull in greater revenue because of its “stronger enterprise presence.”

PC Magazine quotes 52.2 million hard-drive shipments for WD and 48.9 million for Seagate. On the revenue side of things, WD reportedly enjoyed $2.475 billion to Seagate’s $2.7 billion, although WD actually managed to generate greater net income than its chief competitor: $225 million versus $150 million.

Despite their respective victories, neither company sounds too ecstatic about the quarter. WD CEO John Coyne lamented “sharply declining” average selling prices, which purportedly caused industry revenue to fall 7% while unit shipments went up 4%. Seagate, meanwhile, complained of “less than normal seasonal increase in demand for hard disk drives” and tight margins caused by “intense price competition.” There might be more of that in store. PC Magazine says WD COO Timothy Leyden “implied that hard-drive prices should continue to decline in the near term.”

Comments closed
    • JMccovery
    • 9 years ago

    Seagate… In my experience, since I used to buy Seagate/Maxtor exclusively, especially after the short lifespan of the WD Caviar 20 – 120GB drives a while back, I will not go back to buying Seagate. I bought 2 500GB 7200.10s one from BestBuy (was on sale) and one from NewEgg, both were afflicted with the same problems as other 7200.10s. The one I bought from NewEgg flashed fine, but reports that it has NO (0MB) cache, and the one from BB will not boot at all.

    I contacted Seagate about both drives, according to their firmware checker, the working one is in the bad series of drives, the dead one wasn’t, and since there was a fix available, there was no need to RMA the drives.

    So then, I bought a Samsung 2TB F4, and I loved it, up until my computer was stolen from my house.

    C’est la vie…

    • Frith
    • 9 years ago

    I bought Segate up to the 1.5Tb drives but the fiasco of the drives failing at boot up, the fact that they’re behind in terms of platter density and the noise of the drives (they won’t licence some patent for making drives quieter or something so they are genuinely noisy) has moved me to WD. I now have 10 2TB WD Caviar Greens and apart from the issue of the drive head parking every 8 seconds (which can be easily disabled) I’m totally happy with Western Digital. At this point I feel WD have a better reputation and better products so it’s unsurprising they’ve passed Seagate.

    As for Samsung, in all their product categories they’re very good at bringing new technology to the market and they’re very cheap, but this comes at the cost of quality and reliability. My image of Samsung is that they make crap and this is backed up by my two Samsung hard disk purchases – both failed within a few days. I don’t buy Samsung products in general and I’d certainty never buy another Samsung hard disk.

      • Corrado
      • 9 years ago

      I, on the other hand, have had WONDERFUL luck with Samsung products. 2 TVs, multiple monitors, a cell phone or two in the past, RAM and hard drives from Samsung have all been great to me.

        • etana
        • 9 years ago

        I bought a $1400 Samsung LNT4061 HDTV which died after 18 months due to under-specced caps in the power supply. They refused to even acknowledge the (wide-spread) problem.

      • willmore
      • 9 years ago

      After years of using Seagate/Maxtor exclusively, I gave WD a try with their 1T Green drives. They worked fine, so I tried the 2T Green drives. I’ve had *four* warranty returns on two drives in less than a year. I’m going back to Seagate–who’s never failed me in the last few decades.

        • just brew it!
        • 9 years ago

        It’s probably the Green drive head park issue. I’m a little leery of the Greens other than as external storage; the Blue and Black series drives are still very reliable.

          • willmore
          • 9 years ago

          The last one to fail had the head park shut off. Not enough data to tell with any confidence, IMHO. I’ve still got the two drives. I’m putting them in less demanding roles, so we’ll see if they fail again. I sure hope not as they’re no longer part of a RAID array.

        • no51
        • 9 years ago

        In my 15+ years of computing experience, only 4 hard drives have failed on me. All 4 were Maxtors. 2 of them were recently and were in use for less than 3 years.

          • etana
          • 9 years ago

          i have had 4 die in about the same time-frame. Two Maxtors, a Fujitsu and a WD. To be fair, the WD was on a system that also lost a power supply and videocard after a brownout.

      • stdRaichu
      • 9 years ago

      Same here – I use the WD20EARS in my QNAP, once you turn off the 8s head park they’re the best drives on the market in terms of quietness and performance. The samsungs are quiet but don’t perform quite as well, the seagates were noisier and slower IME; my backup box is all samsung.

      I’ve got six of the 2TB drives in RAID10, and I can easily saturate the 2Gb/s connection.

      Edit: making no claims about reliability because I don’t think any one person can gauge this accurately. That study google released a few years back showed failure rates amongst all their vendors were roughly equal, seagate’s run of bad firmwares notwithstanding. Yet to see a single failure on an SSD however 🙂

        • swaaye
        • 9 years ago

        Yup it is entertaining to see people continually making “final judgments” on manufacturers with completely useless anecdotal evidence.

        It’s really just important to go with whoever has the best warranty / RMA system and I have to say that WD’s is super easy with their completely automated web page system. They also seem to ship replacement drives back 2nd day air every time. I haven’t dealt with the other companies though.

      • Metalianman
      • 9 years ago

      I bought my last Seagate 7 years ago and it died on me twice in a year! The next time it died I couldn’t even bother. so I with WD, they were making some noise back then, but hey, I still have the drive and it’s working just fine! Right now I have 2 RE2 750GB, a Caviar Black 1TB, a Caviar Blue 640GB, 2 Caviar Green 1.5TB, a Spinpoint F1 1TB and 3 Spinpoint F3 1.5TB. All 10 drives were bought the last 4 years, they are part of multiple RAID arrays and I have found no problem what-so-ever with any of them! If anything, I’m very much surprised about how fast the F3s are, quiet and cool!!! and the drive being cool is very important on storage servers. I’m not surprised WD sold more than Seagate, I am surprised that these companies still haven’t had a descent SSD drive out there! Especially Samsung!!!

    • JustAnEngineer
    • 9 years ago

    Thanks to Samsung for bringing in credible competition to lower prices.

    • NeelyCam
    • 9 years ago

    How about Samsung? Is their revenue share going up?

    We still need a healthy hard drive industry; SSD capacities won’t be high enough (or cost effective enough) to replace hard drives as data storage for another 7-8 years.

    • NeelyCam
    • 9 years ago

    How about Samsung? Is their revenue share going up?

    We still need a healthy hard drive industry; SSD capacities won’t be high enough (or cost effective enough) to replace hard drives as data storage for another 7-8 years.

      • NeelyCam
      • 9 years ago

      Another double post. TechReport – please do something!!

        • dmjifn
        • 9 years ago

        I also brought this up in the gerbil test of the comment system. Morph said something like “it means the code is sound, no?”. I thought he was joking but it looks like they really don’t (didn’t) intend to do anything about it.

        • NeelyCam
        • 9 years ago

        I know now why these happen. If you press “Submit reply” twice, the post gets sent twice.
        Can’t you disable the button as soon as it’s pressed the first time?

        • NeelyCam
        • 9 years ago

        I know now why these happen. If you press “Submit reply” twice, the post gets sent twice.
        Can’t you disable the button as soon as it’s pressed the first time?

          • NeelyCam
          • 9 years ago

          Testing.

            • just brew it!
            • 9 years ago

            Please stop. I don’t appreciate needing to spend part of my lunch hour cleaning up your mess.

            • NeelyCam
            • 9 years ago

            I apologize; I was just trying to figure out what’s happening with the double-posts… I honestly was doing it to try to help the community.

            If there was a ‘delete post’ button, I’d clean it all up myself.

            Oh, now it seems that I don’t stay auto-logged in anymore. I get errors when replying/thumbing, and I have to re-login again? Others having these issues?

            • indeego
            • 9 years ago

            This community just presses the button once, like all form submissions for over a decade now.

            • NeelyCam
            • 9 years ago

            We’ll see how you feel when it happens to you…

            It’s easy to click the button twice by accident. Other sites have ways to prevent double-posts in this case – TechReport doesn’t.

            • dmjifn
            • 9 years ago

            I can’t figure out which is more awesome – that people are responding to the dupe (I know, it got bumped to top, but still) or that the original has -1 votes but the dupe has a +3. 🙂

            Anyway, I’m backing NeelyCam. Not just forums, but lots of sites either disable the button after the first click, or use a transaction ID to prevent double processing. It’s not hard, yo.

            • just brew it!
            • 9 years ago

            Don’t get me wrong — I agree they should fix the issue. But clicking it 5 times just to prove a point was a little obnoxious.

          • NeelyCam
          • 9 years ago
          • NeelyCam
          • 9 years ago
          • NeelyCam
          • 9 years ago
          • NeelyCam
          • 9 years ago
      • chischis
      • 9 years ago

      I think most would agree that Samsung’s hard drives have an iffy past, but the latest Spinpoint F3 range have been overall pretty excellent. Techreport themselves saying so. So I suspect Samsung are improving in this area. Let’s hope they continue to do so, much as I like WD’s products, they should never be the only choice.

        • just brew it!
        • 9 years ago

        Hitachi doesn’t get enough love either, IMO. They’re a viable option too.

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