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@IDC Personal & Entry-Level Storage Market Declined in 2015, According to IDC

Worldwide personal and entry-level storage (PELS) shipments totaled 68.5 million units in 2015, representing a decline of -9.2% from a year ago, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Personal and Entry-Level Storage Tracker. Annual shipment values were down -15.1% year over year to $5.4 billion. Unit shipments in the fourth quarter (4Q15) experienced a -6.8% decrease from a year ago to 19.1 million units. Shipment values declined along with units in the fourth quarter, down -12.6% to $1.5 billion.

"2015 marks the first year of decline in the personal and entry-level storage market since the Thailand floods in 2011," said Jingwen Li, Senior Research Analyst, Storage Systems. "The growing utilization of cloud storage continues to negatively affect the demand for PELS. In response, players in the PELS market are being forced to either capture more market opportunities through M&A or go through re-organization to better position their PELS business."

Market Highlights

The relative shares of personal vs. entry-level storage remained stable in 4Q15. Personal storage continued to account for almost 99% of total market shipments. The shrinking of the PELS market has been negatively impacting the entry-level storage segment throughout 2015. Shipments to this SMB-focused segment were down by -2.5% year over year in 2015.

PELS offerings with higher capacity points continued to gain market share as fierce price competition made these products more affordable. In the 3.5" segment, 3-5TB drives continued to take share from 1-2TB offerings and accounted for 51.5% units shipped. In the 2.5" space, 500GB and 1TB offerings still dominated the market. However, offerings of 2-4TB managed to grow their shares over the past two years.

HDD vendors continued to dominate the personal storage segment (representing 80% of unit share) and gained shipment share in the entry-level segment (capturing 26% unit share). Both HDD and mainstream non-HDD players have been struggling in the PELS market. Western Digital acquired SanDisk to gain more opportunities in the SSD market. Toshiba has been experiencing shipment decline and will have to go through restructuring to better position its HDD business. Smaller vendors like Imation discontinued its personal storage product line while Imation acquired Connected Data to move up to the entry-level space.

USB remained the most popular interface in the PELS market as major players started to roll out offerings with USB Type-C connectors. These offerings are still in the early stages of development, but with speeds comparable to Thunderbolt, these products will potentially create competition with the Thunderbolt offerings.

Worldwide Personal and Entry-Level Storage Shipment, Market Share, and Year-Over-Year Growth, 2015 (shipment in thousands)
2015 Shipments
2015 Market Share
2014 Shipments
2014 Market Share
2015/2014 Growth
Western Digital*
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Personal and Entry Level Storage Tracker, February 2015

Notes:     * Western Digital does not include HGST 

     ** Seagate does not include LaCie and Samsung
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The PELS market includes storage products and solutions with a single bay through twelve bay configurations that are manufactured and marketed for individuals, small offices/home offices, and small businesses.

IDC defines Personal Storage as having 1-2 bays and Entry-Level Storage as having 3-12 bays.

IDC defines an HDD vendor as a vendor who manufactures its own hard disk drive, in addition to branded external storage.

IDC defines a Mainstream non-HDD vendor as a major PELS vendor that does not manufacture its own hard disk drives.

Data for the PELS market is reported for calendar periods.

About IDC TrackersIDC Tracker products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research processes, IDC's Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly excel deliverables and on-line query tools. The IDC Tracker Charts app allows users to view data charts from the most recent IDC Tracker products on their iPhone and iPad. The IDC Tracker Chart app is also available for Android Phones and Android Tablets.
About IDCInternational Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. To learn more about IDC, please visit www.idc.com. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC.

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